Race-based Obama defense is racist itself
by Melvyn L Fein
May 26, 2013 10:21 PM | 1090 views | 1 1 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chris Matthews is at it again. That thrill that ran up his leg when Barack Obama erupted upon the national scene has apparently intensified and resulted in brain fever. Now that the president is beset by a trifecta of political scandals, Matthews is still among the few blaming these problems, in part, on racism.

This former congressional aide may, however, soon find himself surrounded by congenial souls. For the moment, the mainstream press is up in arms about having been targeted for federal investigation. Its members feel betrayed that their favorite politician apparently approved a fishing expedition into their telephone contacts.

But wait. Liberal reporters remain reluctant to identify the Benghazi affair as evidence of official mendacity. Like the president, they seem to want the whole business to go away. Why else would they not be in a lather when emails confirm that what the president’s press secretary told them was flat-out false?

The answer seems to be that they fundamentally agree with Matthews, that criticism of Obama must be motivated by racism. This charge has been made many times because it betrays the deep allegiance of liberal journalists to a liberal government.

There can be no doubt that the press wanted to see Obama elected president. There can likewise be no doubt that reporters felt virtuous in helping to raise the first “black” to this office. By the same token, they are invested in making sure he does not stumble and by association impugn the abilities of African-Americans.

In this, liberals congratulate themselves on their lack of racism. They take pride in being Barack’s most reliable allies because they believe this unequivocally demonstrates their lack of bigotry.

I, on the other hand, contend that their behavior proves the exact opposite. This is because they totally misunderstand the meaning of “racism.” They believe the word applies only when one has a negative attitude toward blacks or other minorities. They are wrong.

In fact, people are racist when they are either prejudiced or discriminate because of race. Although this formulation may seem to confirm the judgment of the Matthews crowd, it does not. Their mistake is in assuming that bias is only negative.

The truth is that bias can be either for or against a group of people. Yes, one can be prejudiced against a particular category, but one can also be prejudiced in its favor. One can also discriminate to assist a group and not just to hurt it.

Liberals understand this very well with respect to whites. Thus, they regularly complain that Caucasians are “privileged.” In other words, they interpret the alleged benefits light skin color confers as due to prejudice in its favor.

If this is true, then allowing Barack Obama or Eric Holder to get away with behaviors that would destroy the careers of whites or Asians is undoubtedly discriminatory. To make excuses for conduct that would otherwise be considered reprehensible clearly betrays a bias on their behalf.

People who are genuinely open-minded judge individuals according to the same standards irrespective of skin color. Martin Luther King opined that someday he hoped his children would be judged by the content of their character — not their race. This attitude should still apply today.

But I would add that we should also judge people by what they do. When they lie about the death of an American ambassador, they should be called out on the carpet. When they remain passive after the IRS intimidates their political foes, they must not plead ignorance. At the very least, they should have made inquiries when the charges first arose.

Barak Obama is, at minimum, culpable of administrative negligence. At maximum, he is guilty of treasonous manipulation. I am not sure these are high crimes and misdemeanors, but they are surely worthy of condemnation. To pretend otherwise, merely because of his race, is blatantly racist.

So is defaming those outraged by his conduct merely because of their race.

Melvyn L. Fein, Ph.D., is a professor of sociology at Kennesaw State University.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
East Cobb Senior
May 27, 2013
Mel, I agree fully with the premise of your column, however I would argue that while Civil and Voting Rights legislation brought about "legal" equality under the law, it did not erase the "2nd Class Citizen" perception held by many within and without the minority community, brought about mainly by years of overt discrimination, nor did it ameliorate the perceptional schism of racial societal legitimacy.

To a vast number of African Americans it was Barak Obama, a Liberal black man, and his ascendancy to President of the United States, the highest office in the land, and once held by the "The Great Emancipator" Abraham Lincoln, that would finally eliminate that "2nd Class Citizen" perception and close any societal legitimacy gap related to race. The Liberal establishment, along with the compliant main stream media, recognized this phenomenon, and its political potential, and conspired to bolster his image to mythical proportions, thereby energizing huge numbers of minority voters, the young, other Liberals and independents to propel Obama into office .

Following this very successful political maneuver, the Liberal establishment and their accommodating main stream media acolytes could not allow Obama or his chosen flunkies to be "debunked" and bear any responsibility for malfeasance or failures that would threaten this newly gained voting block. To Liberals, racial legitimacy must be retained at ALL COSTS to preserve this political constituency. Scandals must be neutralized, opposition must be marginalized and lying legitimized. Their primary defensive weapon against conservative assaults, is to label any opposition to policy, obstruction to legislative agenda, scrutiny of actions, whether lawful or not, questioning of the platitude of political oratory and outright lying as unjustified and deliberate "racist" attacks against a black President. Their objective was to stymie criticism and keep the minority coalition sympathetic toward a black President under assault from enemies opposed to him simply because of color.

Certainly "racism" and "prejudice" are two way streets, but their definitions have been scrambled in meaning and no longer apply across the spectrum. To me "Political Correctness" is primarily to blame for these definitional transformations. They now only refer to negative thoughts, speech and actions against governmentally defined minority groups.

This linguistic scourge has also redefined many of our words and greatly neutered our language in ways that discourage dissent, distain, disgust, displeasure, opinion and free expression. It has provided the avenues by which our government has set in motion the Chicago style tactics of political intimidation and retribution that a "Free Independent Press" is supposed to ferret out.

The illegalities of Holder and others in this corrupt administration, coupled with the deniability and concurrence of Obama and an acquiescent main stream media with an absolute attitude of "Hear No Evil" See No Evil", "Speak No Evil", will continue until conservative Americans wake up to the reality of what is happening. Unfortunately, far too many are acting like ostriches with their heads buried in the sand ignoring the obvious and inevitable. A free society cannot remain free if its Constitutionally protected press abdicates its responsibility to investigate and probe for the truth, then report it accurately and impartially. When ideology and Political Correctness trump journalistic ethics, and editorializing replaces reporting and we allow them to get away with it, our future looks grim.

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