Thursday, February 01, 2007

Clean & Articulate Racism

UPDATED: I realized after many hours that the end of this post was cut off - it actually disappeared. I'm writing a different ending, since I can't remember everything I wrote, and also to simply write it better.
I don't understand how a comment like this doesn't demonstrate overt racism: (via CWY)
“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
The first mainstream African-American who is articulate? Bright? Clean!? What exactly did he expect - a mumbling, stupid, dirty man?

To me, an example like this shows a worse kind of racism than even simple dislike. A person who hates black people simply because they're black is a hateful jerk. A person who - in passive conversation - can show that he expects black people to be mumbling, dirty, and stupid? That's outright disgusting and ignorant.

Interestingly enough, the person who made the comment is himself a Presidential candidate: Senator Joe Biden - the Democrat from Delaware.

I've always felt that this implicit racism was far worse than any other. We have laws protecting people from being discriminated against, and the simple, hateful racism is easier to prosecute. But implicit racism? It can silently destroy people. For example, look at affirmative action: It forced universities and companies to accept (say) black people - not because they were necessarily qualified, but because they were black. It was a nice way of saying, "Hey, we don't think you could actually earn a job here, so we're going to give you one to encourage 'diversity'." How does this encourage diversity? By putting someone into a situation where they're guaranteed to fail, when they couldn't have earned the job with their own skill? And when they could have earned it, we wouldn't need affirmative action [at this point in history].

I've often found the same implicit racism in the most hypocritical of places. Firstly, among Jews: Forget the stupidity of racist beliefs, because obviously it's stupid; it doesn't even make sense in terms of some perceived gain, because racist beliefs only harm Jews, removing a natural ally on many issues, especially in the United States. (Interestingly, I found less racism overall among Jews in Israel, at least in regards to the Ethiopians or blacks in general; there, any race hatred was usually against Sefardim. On the other hand, that little bit of racism actually does result in discrimination.)

Almost more interestingly, though, is in certain areas: New York City, for example. Certain areas in other cities (parts of Cleveland, etc.). Generally, urban areas - ones which contain a high percentage of people who vote Democrat. A brilliant Democrat blogger [not sure if he doesn't want this quoted as being him] I know once agreed with this assessment and noted that where he lives in the Bronx (one of the highest Kerry-voting areas in 2004 in the country) he's heard more racism than anywhere else, much to his surprise. Democrats - who often make a big fuss over race issues - seem to be more racist than Republicans. While Republicans have their Pat Buchanans, their other crazies... those people are not in the mainstream; they are clear fringe players. But the racist Democrats don't even seem to acknowledge or realize that what they believe is completely racist - worse even than those they [properly] mock.

Notice the breakdown of most communities in New York: They are broken down by ethnicity and class. In what is supposed to be the melting pot of culture, you have "black" areas, "Chinese" areas, "Hispanic" areas... The way many of the 'liberal elite' seem to view minorities here is to 'throw money at them to help them build their communities' - as long as they don't come into ours. This also helps protect true 'old boys' networks, as connections are only made with people of the same ethnicity.

I checked the Wiki article on New York City's demographics. It doesn't really break down race by neighborhood within the city (only by borough), but The article does split up a few of the groups and casually notes the neighborhoods they live in. Quotes such as the following are not surprising, either:
Manhattan has a high degree of income disparity, with extreme wealth and pockets of poverty.
Los Angeles actually does list a few neighborhoods when it does the same, noting places such as Leimart Park (91.7% black).

Senator Biden's remarks only demonstrate what seems to be a natural belief among higher-ranking Democrats, or some Democrats in general: Minorities need our help, because they can't do it themselves. An interesting statistic, if I'm recalling correctly: There is but one black Democratic Senator, while there are two Republican Senators. 1/51 = less than 2%; 2/49 = more than 4+%. While this is a terribly small sample, it's interesting to compare it to the makeup of the two parties as a whole. About 2% of those who voted for Bush in 2004 were black; having 2 Senators is slightly more than representative. About 17% of those who voted for Kerry were black [and as a percentage of the Democratic constituency in general, blacks are even higher, as only a low percentage vote] - having just 1 Senator (instead of 8-9) seems to be a terribly unfair rate of representation. We also see a real lack of minorities at the top of the Democratic Party, with the biggest black names in the party (before Obama) being people like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and even Charlie Rangel.

Implicit racism is worse than blatant racism in that it pushes minorities down even as it claims to be raising them up. Even as the liberal elite helps out black communities, it holds them away from truly meshing with the communities around them, encouraging black-only cultural stereotypes. The Congressional Black Caucus [solely made up of Democrats] does not allow any non-blacks to join; last year, a House Democrat wished to do so to better help his mostly black constituency, but was rejected [hat tip: BOTW, which made me wish I'd read all my e-mail before writing this piece]. Some liberals encourage calling those blacks who don't follow typical black stereotypes (such as being a Democrat) "Uncle Toms" or "Oreos".

Possibly the worst part of implicit racism among Democratic leadership is that these people make their political decisions based on their own bigoted views. These decisions negatively impact not only the very same people they are meant to help, they negatively impact everyone else who is affected by them indirectly (such as qualified white people who lose out on jobs or university slots). The time has come to fight this implicit racism as well, and the best way of doing so is by voting out or calling for the resignation of those who practice it.
I can't remember how the rest of this post originally went. It was really good, too. Argh. Blogger Beta stinks.