Saturday, February 9, 2008

Feel-good racism

A couple of days ago Bookworm posted a story about kids in her daughter's school saying that people should vote for Obama because he is black.  This started a discussion, in which I participated.  There was also a nice lady named Helen, also a blogger on Wordpress.  Helen is a leftist, or, as she prefers to call herself, a Progressive.  She is very nice and polite, and generally a pleasure to disagree with.  Helen defends the Affirmative Action practices and thinks that Obama's race is important because racism still exists.  There were others commenting on the Bookworm's post, who disagreed with Helen and agreed with me, but still acknowledged existence of racism.  That includes Bookworm herself.  I, on the other hand, suggested that, save for few idiots on the fringes, racism does not exist in this country.  As an example of real racism I described anti-Semitism in the old Soviet Union, something I faced personally.  I also mentioned anti-Russian discrimination in many of the Soviet republics.  What Helen and others missed in my argument was that, while there are some racist idiots in this country, the discrimination in the Soviet Union came from the government.  This has not happen in this country for at least 40 years.  Ironically, the biggest reason that caused any kind of discrimination to end was something that back in high school I was told was bad about America: the so-called "cult of dollar".  But it only makes sense: if you need to hire someone for your business, you would want to hire the most qualified individual.  Ethnic, racial or religious background are usually irrelevant to the person's ability to do the job.  There might be exceptions: if you are looking for a rabbi you will have to hire a Jew, while a pastor will have to be a Christian.  But other than that, things like that are irrelevant.


By focusing on the race, ethnicity or gender the Left prevents these irrelevant characteristics from being viewed as irrelevant.  In fact, the closest thing to government-sponsored discrimination is the Affirmative Action, so loved by the Left.  Supposedly this rights some wrong that was perpetrated over 40 years ago.  But as I commented, so I, as a Jew, was discriminated against in Odessa.  Does this fact mean that I should condone anti-Russian discrimination in Tashkent?


The Left continues with this feel-good racism.  In another post Bookworm showed the way Time magazine reported the breakdown of the Primary voters:



GOP Results


 Republicans: McCain 40, Romney 36, Huckabee 18
Evangelicals: Huckabee 33, McCain 31, Romney 30
Conservatives: Romney 42, McCain 31, Huckabee 20

Those most concerned about:

Immigration: Romney 48, McCain 25, Huckabee 15
Economy: McCain 40, Romney 32, Huck 18
Iraq: McCain 51, Romney 20, Huckabee 15

Democrats

Blacks: Obama 81, Clinton 17
Whites: Clinton 50, Obama 44
Hispanics: Clinton 62, Obama 36
White women: Clinton 57, Obama 45
Young whites: Obama 64, Clinton 35



The breakdown for Republicans is on the issues, while the breakdown for Democrats is along ethnic and gender lines.  One commenter on the Helen's post that was the result of the comments on the Bookworm's post was thus praising the openness of our elections to everybody:



"I find it amazing that not only are a black man and a white woman running for president, but also a minister and a medical doctor and a soldier who survived years of torture."



So, she described the Republicans by what they do and their life experience.  She described the Democrats by their racial and gender identities.  Why?  Who cares about Obama's race and Hillary's gender and race?  How do their identities impact their ability to the President?  Their race and gender are absolutely irrelevant to the job they might have to do (although I hope they won't get to do that).  I will not vote for either of them, but I absolutely don't care about Obama's blackness or Hillary's femininity.  I simply disagree with their ideas.  I don't think that anything approaching Socialism is a good idea to implement.  I should know: I grew up with that.  But their identities have nothing to do with that, although their party affiliation does.


The way to end racism is just to end it.  My daughters are not capable of racism for one simple reason: they don't know about racial differences.  Oh, sure, they have all kinds of kids in school and preschool.  But for them the racial differences are on the same level as the difference between someone with blond and brunet hair.  I'd like to keep it that way.


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3 comments:

satiricohen said...

Very well said.
I suspect most liberals are really racist at heart and are just trying to compensate for it by supposedly being extra non-racist. Of course, they end up being the racists they really are, as well as looking like fools.

DeadMule said...

So this is the backside site of which Bookworm spoke.

Dear Eric,

To admit that the US still has racism does not feel good. But to accept your experience in the former Soviet Union as an explanation of what is and isn’t racism in the US is silly.

Your experience is valuable to you and influence the way you think and vote, just as each person’s background affects him/her. What you describe is racism (against Jews). That racism is real. But it isn’t what happened in the US and doesn’t explain how the US can rid herself of racism.

The US has a troubled racial past that influences it present. (see more at http://helenl.wordpress.com/2008/02/09/an-open-letter-to-eric/

Anonymous said...

It is so easy to make the statement: " In fact, the closest thing to government-sponsored discrimination is the Affirmative Action, so loved by the Left."

The fact that you would make that comment shows how blind your eyes are to the rascim in America.

You being a Jew lets you understand that racism does exist for your people. But it seems it ends there.

Russian Jews had centuries of racism, as did and do all Jews. But no matter where in the world you look, black people are worse off. From the African who is on the bottom, no matter the people who you speak to. To the Indian man who is black in color, or the South American. No matter the country, the darker the skin, the nastier you are to the people.

Remember that Hitler said in Mein Kampf, " Blacks, Jews, Gypysies, etc." Even Hitler saw the Jew as being better that the Black.

Affirmative action is something that is necessary. It started as a way for Black people to get into jobs they historically could not get into. Be it government, Union, or whatever, the Black man and woman were automatically dismissed no matter the qualifications.

But even more so, now Affirmative Action is not being used the way it was made to. More woman of all colors, and foreigners are getting jobs held for Affirmative Action. Just like the 14th Amendment, Affirmative Action is being interpreted as something for all people, when it specifically was for the Blacks of America.

From schools that are majority Black, to neighborhoods, Black Americans have the worst and most underfunded educational systems. In a land that makes laws that ALL kids should go to schools, how is it that states would allow certain people to go without books? How is it that a white public school gets more money than a black city school? How is it that inner city children are not given the same standards that suburban children are? If that is fair, I don't know what the meaning of fair is.

So if a few black kids get a chance to go to a college off of Affirmative Action and they don't measure up to the average student, who cares? That poor white kid or whoever will just have to pick another school.

Afimative Action IS necessary and needed, but once again, the government allows it to be used for people it was never intended to be used for in the first place. Once again, it underlines the fact that the Black Americans need to be appeased and forgotten about.

Black people have a lot to answer for themselves, but when you throw in the "War on Poverty" and all of the other Liberal programs, angry and overlooked people will think they are taking advantage of the system, when in fact the system took advantage of them.

Affirmative Action is not perfect but it is needed for Black people. I am happy that Jews as a people have banded together to get through the obstacles racism has thrown their way, but Black people have not done that nor have people made it easy on them to see that working together is the best option.

Racism exists. And it is time for people to see that even though it may look like America has been fair and given these Black people a chance, what they gave them was no based on reality. Black people are Black and will always be that, no matter what. Like Rice or Powell, two Blacks who've achieved much, the white world will always look at as Black. Never just another person.