The Great Lie of Racism


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Once upon a time racism used to be relatively easy to pin down. It was segregated lunch counters and slave ships, it was nooses and chains, it was the legal oppression of a group of people on account of the color of their skin. Then racism stopped being a set of laws and became an abstraction, first a set of attitudes and then a set of attitudes implying another set of attitudes.

Racism changed from laws that deliberately discriminate against black people to policies that serve to disadvantage black people, whether or not that is their intent. In 1971, 17 years after its landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling, the Supreme Court decided that schools shouldn’t just not be forcibly segregated, but that they could be forcibly desegregated with the use of busing, even if there was no actual intent to segregate and in places where the racial differences were the result of geography. That same year in Griggs v. Duke Power Co., the Court ruled that a high school diploma job requirement was racially discriminatory because fewer black people possessed them.

From an attempt to overturn racist laws, the war on racism had shifted to forcibly legislating big government’s idea of racial equality. The goal was no longer removing inequality, but artificially creating a desired statistical outcome.

In 1965, LBJ introduced Affirmative Action as the “next and more profound stage of the battle for civil rights.” The new goal was “not just equality as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and as a result.” And manufacturing equality first required manufacturing inequality to achieve a perfect balance. Equal opportunity in the free market was traded for an equal result in a planned racial economy. And it worked about as well as all planned economies do.

In the process, racism was conflated with socialism. Principled civil rights objections to government laws were the new racism. Obstructing the unlimited power of the Federal government had become the equivalent of bigotry. To truly support racial equality, one had to support racial inequality and to show one’s opposition to past government racial laws, one had to support the new government racial laws meant to redress those laws… even 60 years later.

Racism had not only become an abstraction, it had become the abstraction of an abstraction,  transcending race to fuse with attitudes toward government power returning to the old Civil War Republican formula of Federalism as anti-racism and States’ Rights as racism. 150 years after the Civil War, federalism as anti-racism is a false formula imposed on a debate going back to the Washington Administration about where the center of political power should rest.

Throughout the 20th Century, Democrats searched around for a compelling justification for seizing and wielding unlimited power. President Wilson did it in the name of a global crusade. FDR did it in the name of an economic crisis and the underclass. But his Democratic successors zeroed in on race and made it their own, abusing power in the name of combating racism.

Racism is no longer about race. Not when Bill Clinton was the first black president and Allen West is a racist for bringing fried chicken to a Congressional Black Caucus meeting. Liberalism is the new race, and it is a category that transcends and encompasses race. Liberalism defines race, allowing white liberals to be defined as black and black conservatives to be defined as white.

The race in racism is nothing but a symbol now, but since most people still assume that racism means hating black people, rather than questioning government power, it helps to have a half-black man around as a symbol of why abuses of government power are justified for the greater good of race relations.

Most people, black and white, don’t understand the switch that has been pulled on them or that the racism being talked about is not the kind that involves a white man hitting a black man, but a debate over unlimited political power between two political parties, both of whom have at one time eroded the “States” part and emphasized the “United” part with a variety of justifications, among them that of treating black people as wards of the Federal government.

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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.