Thursday, November 10, 2016


The Refusal to See Progress

Intellectual light weight Jamelle Bouie, over at lefty central Slate, has a hissy fit called White Won over Trump's election. He thinks it's racism that caused white voters not to vote for white Hillary Clinton but to vote for white Donald Trump instead. I'm not following him on that. His screed's subtitle is:

We are still the country that produced George Wallace. We are still the country that killed Emmett Till.

Well, indeed we are, because we have a national history which cannot be changed (although a lot of lefties try, like Mr. Bouie here). But George Wallace was a mainstream Democrat. The men who killed Emmett Till were Democrats. This sad history he cites has absolutely nothing to do with Donald Trump or the Republicans who voted for him. Also, Wallace was active in politics from 1946 to 1987 and Mr. Till was murdered in 1955. Have we not proved that our nation has indeed left racism of that kind behind? Have things not improved? Is anyone still voicing George Wallace's support of segregation? Are there still horrific murders of innocent young black men by white racists in the South. I haven't heard about too many KKK lynchings recently. Have you?

Intelligent readers know the answer to those questions. Mr. Bouie, apparently does not.

But let's get right to the slanders.

The age of Trump will be an age in which police can act with impunity.

When faced with the fetid swamps of white reaction—of white supremacists and white nationalists and anti-Semites—[Trump] winked, and they cheered in response. And for good reason.

John McCain indulged racial fears, and Mitt Romney played on racial resentment, but they refused to go further. To borrow from George Wallace, they refused to cry “nigger.” This is important. By rejecting the politics of explicit racism and white backlash, they moved the political battleground to nominally colorblind concerns.

I have to comment on that last. If the Republican candidates (as they always have) rejected explicit racism, isn't that an improvement over the blatant racism the Democrats displayed from the beginning well into the late 20th C?

And the seeing white supremacy everywhere is Mr. Bouie's internal problem. There are White Supremacists. Heck, even the old enforcement arm of the blatantly racist Democrat Party, the KKK, still exists. But there are only a few, a very few of them and everyone of normal intelligence and ethical principles thinks, rightly, that they are horrible people. Let's look at history according to Jamelle Bouie.

For 10 brief years after the Civil War, a coalition of ex-slaves and white farmers worked to forge democracy in the former Confederacy. With the help of the federal government, they scored real victories and made significant gains. But their success spurred a backlash of angry whites, furious at sharing power with blacks and their Northern allies, murderous at the very idea of social equality. Those whites fought a war against Reconstruction governments, and when they won, they declared the South redeemed.

Correct. The Republicans helped the former slaves and then the Democrats imposed their blatantly racist rules we place under the umbrella rubric "Jim Crow." But the "help of the federal government" he cites are nearly all Republicans, the same Republicans who voted, nearly to the man, for the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments (with hardly any Democrat votes yes). The same Republicans have always supported our black brothers and sisters, from the very beginning of the Party. Support of abolition is what distinguished the Republicans from the Whigs, it was the very essence of the Republican Party. Again, this history of Democrat racism has nothing to do with Republicans or with supporters of Donald Trump. Anything else?

As soon as that [Fusion] Reconstruction ended, there was a backlash. But it wasn’t as strong as previous ones. It brought leaders who nodded to problems of racism and racial discrimination, even as they played on white fears and white anxieties. After years of struggle, we had come to some agreement: We believed in equality. And when a black man won the presidency—the symbolic pinnacle of white power and white prerogative—we celebrated as a nation.

So there is progress? We have left our Democrat racism behind and judge our candidates by the content of their character and not the color of their skin, right? No is Bouie's answer, when he writes this:

Here’s what I see. I see a man who empowered white nationalists and won. I see a man who demanded the removal of nonwhite immigrants and won. I see a man who pledged war crimes against foreign enemies and won. I see a man who empowers the likes of Rudy Giuliani and others who see blacks as potential criminals to control, not citizens to respect.

Target rich paragraph that. First, who's looking only at the color of people's skin and at nothing else? Is it Trump and his supporters or is it Mr. Bouie? That's an easy question. Who are the "white nationalists" Trump supposedly empowered? Is it all whites or is it only Republicans? And how did Trump "empower" them? This is pretty much all gobbeldygoop.

Demanded the removal of "nonwhite immigrants"? I don't remember Trump using that language. I thought he was talking about "illegal immigrants" and referred not at all to skin color. Mr. Bouie is the only one obsessing about skin color here.

I'll skip the "war crimes" complaint because I can't remember the context. Was it about bombing civilians? Doesn't every country with an air force do that?

OK, now the real complaint. The law and order supporters, to Mr. Bouie, are all racists because they notice the disturbing and inescapable fact that less than 13% of our population commits nearly 5 times that percentage of violent crimes in America. Sorry to have to bring that up. I respect our citizens of any color, but I don't ignore the stats. I don't give black criminals a pass because of their skin color. Is it white racism that causes blacks to murder other blacks at an extraordinary rate--nearly half the murders in America each year are just that. How exactly do the white racists make the blacks murder each other at this horrific rate? Final paragraph misunderstanding history.

After the redemption of the South, black Americans—and nonwhites around the country—faced the nadir. Whites imposed new kinds of discrimination and turned a blind eye to the pogroms and racial terrorism that was scarring the American landscape.

I think what he's talking about is the Republican effort (at the cost of nearly 700,000 lives) to restore the Union so slavery could be ended in all America by the 13th Amendment. I would have thought that slavery itself was the nadir, the lowest point in the history of black Americans, but Mr. Bouie apparently knows better. He apparently believes the Democrats' Jim Crow period was worse. Not to my thinking. And to accuse the whites of turning a blind eye during this period is to ignore the efforts of the Republicans to impose legislation targeted at the KKK's terror pogroms, which, of course, Mr. Bouie does ignore. It's inconvenient history to talk about the continual efforts of the Republicans to stop the lynching and give black Americans equal rights, which efforts were almost always stopped by Democrats. And it's important that Mr. Bouie not let inconvenient history intrude on his delusional hatred of whites in America.

The Republican Party has never been racist, in fact, just the opposite. The Democrats have always been. This history ignored makes Mr. Bouie's present analysis pretty useless.


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