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.