Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Debate Team's Secret Weapon: The Racism Card

We would probably laugh out loud if a participant in a formal debate contest accused the other team of being racist. Why? Because it would be a clear indication the participant had no viable counter to the other team - a sure sign of defeat - and was using the charge as a hail mary attempt at humor. Yet I watch aghast at the spectacle of no less than Jimmy Carter accusing all people who have oppositions to Obama's policies of being racist. Of course Carter is not alone; he is in the company of many other Democratic politicians, columnists, and the individuals commenting online.

One individual responded to an opinion piece on CNN.com, which declared the opposition to Obama wasn't rooted in racism, by saying that any opposition to welfare legislation was racism, "...why don't you people get this?" If I were Ross Perot I would be recalling my failed presidential campaign wherein I was eternally chastised for referring to the black community as "you people" and wondering why the reciprocal isn't racist. However, conservatives are not afforded any grace - even, perhaps especially, when we're correct.

I hate to get this remedial, but evidently it is necessary to pull up the formal definition of racism (from dictionary.com):
1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

While I don't deny that racism still exists in this country, and there are people opposed to President Obama solely on the basis of his race, to accuse anyone who dissents from his policies of being a racist is unfounded and indefensible. Disagreement is not racism. In the aforementioned hypothetical debate, the success of the debaters is based upon their ability to disagree using reasoning and logic. If disagreement were racism then the debate could simply degenerate to each team calling the other racist and, per the example set for us by Carter, they would be fully justified to do so.

There is nothing in Wilson's "You Lie" outburst that fits the definition of racism. Any assertion that his motivation was racist is contrived and without merit. In short, it is an ad hominem attack designed to distract from the truth about illegal immigrants and the health care bill.

(As an aside - the illegal immigration issue regarding health care cannot be resolved by the health care bill. If illegals are given health care then it is at the detriment of the American taxpayer. If illegals are not given health care they will continue to use our health care system without paying, to the deteriment of the American taxpayer. The only way to solve the problem is through tough immigration reform.)

It is important to recall that race is a human construct (see my earlier post on this topic). Arguing that someone is better or worse than another person on the basis of race is like arguing that someone with blonde hair is inferior to someone with brown hair. However, there are cultures that often develop among races, but those cultures may be multi-racial if geography combines races. In other words, a white kid growing up in Harlem would likely emulate the same cultural tendencies as an African-American kid in the same environment. Our persistence to distinguish ourselves on the basis of race is absurd and only serves to propagate the negative consequences of race based distinctions. For instance, anyone can easily comprehend the stupidity of indicating your eye color or hair color at the end of an employment application. Why then do we persist to ask for racial identification?

My point is to show that the accusations leveled against Obama's critics, and the continued emphasis on racial preferences and quotas, only serves to intensify the perception or outright prevalence of racism. The racist charge should only be applied when the evidence clearly shows racism is the underlying motivation for a particular action - and no such motivation can be assigned to the vast majority of Obama's opposition.

Notably, we can find examples of racism (per the definition) from pro-Obama factions. For instance, a plethora of black voters admitted they were voting for Obama because of his race. This fits definition 1, above, because they believed his race was more fit to lead America than was John McCain's. Giving preference to minorities for jobs, student grants, college acceptance, and loans fits definition 2, above. In addition, it promotes the delineation of our population along racial lines. It is done in the name of "diversity" but note that a person's race does not determine the diversity of their views or experience; instead it is their culture and the totality of their background that provides the much proclaimed diversity. Finally, declaring that all protestors of Obama's policies are racist fits definition 3 because those who make this claim are decrying those who oppose Obama without attention to their argument; instead, they fully loathe them as "white haters." That is to say, they hate them only because they are white. Even self-loathing white liberals hate the white race with no basis.

In conclusion, I think this is best summed up with a sign from the September 12th, 2009 March on DC which said, "I doesn't matter what my sign says, you're going to call it racist." The Racism argument is nothing more than a distraction from the truth and a clear indication that the liberals have no logical defense for their policies.

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