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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday Night Card Game ("I didn't call you racist, I just pointed out you're white")

This is the latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:

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:
Yglesias is not alone, nor is he the worst.  The liberal media obsesses about how Tea Party events are "overwhelmingly white" and with the number of non-white faces at Sarah Palin book signings.  Here are some prior posts on the subject:
Is this focus on the whiteness of conservatives, Tea Parties, and opposition to Obama in general merely reporting facts or even part of a greater anti-racism effort?

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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  1. The media didn't seem similarly aghast at the overwhelming whiteness of the pro public union mobs in Wisconsin.

    I'm a white man. Moving to the Republican Party is not just an "identity" issue.

    If Democrats announce out loud that they will always give quota preferences to everybody but hetero white men...

    Where would you go if you were a hetero white man?

  2. I'm not white. Racial grievance is all Dems have, as we've been saying all along. Yglesias is lame.

  3. A large part is due to the "4Rs" now taught in school ... Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic and RACE!!

    @The Ghost asked, "90% of one particular race votes for one party every year ... Gee, are they racist ?"

    --No, silly. Of course not. But it is racist to ask that question.

  4. Much as I hate to defend Matty Yglesias, I think he is probably right in that white voters will tend to shift towards the Republicans as the country shifts demographically. As ST mentions above, Dem party actively supports racial preferences that discriminate against whites. This may not seem like a big deal if you live someplace overwhelmingly white, but if you're in Texas or Georgia it's something to consider.

  5. Everyone is obsessed with race. All day, every day. Here on the local radio news it was mentioned that large numbers of black people (along with a lot of whites) are moving out of the city. Presumably because everything is expensive. One of our glorious city counsel members said we had to do something about this. It appeared to be self-evident to her on why we must interfere as she didn't elaborate on why or exactly how we were supposed to stop black people from moving out of the city. Now that we have been saturated on the issue of endangered blind salamanders we must now switch our focus to micro-managing the migration of city commuters.

  6. Agree with Sam, "Everyone is obsessed with race" BUT all are probably looking at a sneak preview of the next presidential election theme..

    wv: burglea

    Voting the Chicago way..

  7. Sam, I fail to see how your comment backs up your assertion that everyone is obsessed with race.

    And, I don't believe it.

    Most days I don't think about race. But, when I do, it is usually because some Democratic grievance monger has forced me to.

  8. I think the key sentence from Yglesias is this one: "This does mean, however, that politics will become even more abstracted away from 'the issues' and questions of identity will become even more central." In other words, whites will move from D to R not because of political beliefs ("'the issues'"), but because they prefer not to belong to a party dominated by minorities ("questions of identity"). Worthing is right: the accusation of racism is implicit but clear.

  9. Nowadays, when the Left mentions race, it's only an attempt to change the subject from what a big failure their president is and what a disaster his policies are. So, the response to their baloney is "Regardless of whether or not I am a racist, OBAMA IS STILL A DISASTER!"

  10. The only people free to not see the world through the "prism of race" are white people. Advocating colorblindness is not race-neutral.

  11. "America is a not a race. The United States of America is not the color of your skin, it is the way you think, the way you see life. When you finally reach that day, you understand that being an American is a responsibility, not just an entitlement." Steve Montenegro AZ (R)

  12. Obviously defending yourself from charges of Racism is Racist.

  13. It really is very simple, and the Chief Justice nailed it:

    The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.

  14. sumisu,

    Please define 'race-neutral' and 'colorblindness'. Perhaps you can help fill the 'void of incomprehension'.

  15. It is harder for the victim of racial discrimination to be colorblind than it is for the non-victim. In that sense, the duty to be colorblind is not a race-neutral burden, I agree.

  16. Sam: Everyone is not obsessed with race. That is Yglesias' and the Left's goal, however. Racism, as a species of collectivism, is of a kind with Leftism. Thus it has always been so, and will always be logically driven to return to its roots.

  17. "... Democrats are more and more seen as the party of non-whites."

    No, Mr Yglesias. To me, Democrats are more and more seen as the party of racial bean counters.

  18. Leftists focus on race in order to divide our nation against itself. Why? Because they're the bad guys.

    The first and biggest mistake that people make when dealing with leftists is to assume that they are arguing in good faith.

    Leftists pretend to believe things based upon the tactical advantage they gain from doing so. They care nothing about the truth, they only care about power. They also have a nasty habit of accusing others of what they themselves are most guilty of.

  19. Yglesias is an obsessive driven by his rather extreme left-liberalism. Emotionally, he needs a reason to continue to believe that he's correct (and morally superior) while Americans who disagree with him are wrong (and morally inferior). Imputations of racism are the "traditional" left-liberal way of couching such a defense of one's shredded theses. The pattern, which persists in the teeth of all manner of evidence from the objective world (i.e., the world outside liberals' heads), is not confined to Yglesias.

  20. It is harder for the victim of racial discrimination to be colorblind than it is for the non-victim.

    That would explain why white men--heavily discriminated against in college admissions, hiring for corporations, government contracts, etc--are starting to give up the colorblindness and seeing you as a skin and not as a person.

    Congratulations! You've just set race relations back 60 years.

  21. It's a shame that Worthing should've been attacking Yglesias for stealing from Steve Sailer moreso than for what he said, b/c Yglesias is spot on.

    Worthing working incredibly hard to not see what's right in front of his face.

  22. It's odd that a group of people demonized, disrespected, and dealt against would seek shelter in a political party that reflected their interests.

  23. You might ask Yglesias to explain the "Niggardly" and "Black Hole" episodes in the History of NonOverzealous Anti-Racism.

  24. Listening to people who judge everyone and everything in terms of race calling other people racists is always a hoot.

  25. The most galling think about the reference to "overwhelmingly white" crowds is the underlying assumption made by Matthews, Yglesias, et al, that white people do not have the right to engage in political activity. That just the sight of white people in groups for a political reason is evidence of racism. After all, the streets belong to The People and, by definition, The People are not white.