Aaron Worthing of Patterico's Pontifications and Matthew Yglesias of Think Progress had a bit of a spitting match this week over this Yglesias' post titled Stuff White People Like: Republicans (emphasis mine):
"A good series of charts by Lee Drutman shows that one of the best predictors of declining Democratic partisan ID between 2008 and 2010 is the number of white people .... I used to hold to the view that the growing non-white share of the electorate would, over time, tip elections to Democrats. I now think the system will remain near equilibrium and what we’ll instead see is white voters growing more Republican as Democrats are more and more seen as the party of non-whites. Mississippi and Arizona, after all, have very large minority votes but they’re hardly hotbeds of liberalism. Instead they’re hotbeds of very conservative white people. This does mean, however, that politics will become even more abstracted away from “the issues” and questions of identity will become even more central."Worthing wrote that Yglesias was race-baiting:
"And just in time [for this post], Yglesias and Think Progress publish this tripe. Here’s a hint, you cheap race-baiter. Just because the majority of people wanting something might be white, doesn’t make it automatically racist. Indeed, the belief that a view is necessarily racist unless there is a rainbow of colors supporting it is itself racist."To which Yglesias responded:
"I defy you to read my post and find any instance of me calling anyone a racist. The hyperactive response here does, however, remind me of one of the signal qualities of modern American politics, namely conservatives’ absolute conviction that overzealous anti-racism is a major social ill. Personally, I don’t see it and I’m genuinely staring across a void of incomprehension when I see this sentiment from the right. But it’s clearly the major driver of conservative movement thinking on race in America."Worthing's further response is here.
The important thing for tonight's Card Game is not to get in the middle of someone else's blog war (I've had my own issues before), but to wonder how Yglesias stares "across a void of incomprehension" when he sees conservatives react to what he calls "overzealous anti-racism."
Yglesias' formulation begs the question. Why is it "overzealous anti-racism" or even "anti-racism" to reduce everything to race?
Focusing on race as the explanation for politics is something Yglesias does with great frequency, as reflected in these posts:
- Stuff White People Really Like
- Stuff White People Like - Disapproving of Barack Obama
- Progressive Urbanism - Stuff White People Like
- The (White) Kids Are All Right
- White Men Are Not Very Progressive
- Obama Bitterly Clings to Bitter Clinger Stereotypes
- An Allergic Reaction To The Race Card
- White Privilege Syndrome By Proxy
- I'm Not Racist, I Know People Who Voted For Obama
- Diversity for Thee But Not For We
Yglesias is being too cute at least by half. By focusing on the whiteness of crowds or groups, Ygelsias and other liberal media make an implicit charge of racism without actually using the word "racist," thereby leaving themselves an out when challenged. And that is how Yglesias reacted to Worthing, insisting he never called anyone a "racist."
The focus on race is a means of putting conservatives and Tea Parties on the defensive, by suggesting that the skin colors in a crowd reflect racial preferences of the participants.
The best proof that there is no neutral motive to the focus on race is that it is a one way street. Race is an obsession of the left only to the extent the crowd is "overwhelmingly white," not when the crowd is "overwhelmingly not white."
Yglesias just can't seem to understand that we do not view the world through a racial prism, and we resent it when others impute such a view onto us. We care about what is in the mind and heart, not skin color. I realize that is incomprehensible to those who are schooled in the ways of racial politics, but that is their problem, not ours.
Here is a video I have posted before, which sums it up better than I ever could. The reporter also stares across a void of incomprehension:
Update 3-20-2011 - More from John Rosenberg, Anti-Racism, Anti-Anti Racism, And Liberal White Guilt.
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