The Democratic Party has come to rely so heavily on the ubiquitous use of the word-weapon “racism” that not only has it lost all meaning for many Americans, but it’s abuse for decades has undoubtedly kept black Americans at the bottom of the culture and increasingly reliant on the government largesse.
It’s hard not to conclude that this is exactly what the Democratic Party desires. Not all rank-and-file Democrats, not by a long shot. But the politicians, pundits, operatives and media members using it daily against every Republican opponent has branded that party with a fabrication. As the El Paso shooter’s incoherent manifesto shows him to be a white nationalist and an enviro-terrorist, Democrats (and their media) have rushed to pour gasoline on that fire, because they have weaponized race relations, using American blacks as their political pawns.
The political effect is wondrous for Democrat politicians, who scare blacks biennially into voting for them at 90 percent or higher rates. This is universally unrivaled in any other racial, ethnic or gender group. The results for blacks, however, of this one-party devotion are seen quite clearly in Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Flint, Oakland, Memphis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Little Rock, Cleveland and the rest.
In a word: Disastrous.
It is ironic that the very reason that using the word-weapon “racism” is so effective is that Americans en masse recoil at the very idea of it. We are aware of our history, have desperately tried to move past it, and despise being called a racist even when we know it to be untrue. We are so not a racist country that being called a racist stings like few other insults. In a truly racist country, this would not be the case.
How do I know? Because it was never used during the ugly age of the Jim Crow South. When racism was blatant and obvious, when many whites accepted themselves as superior to blacks, the word “racism” was not used because it carried no clout. It would be akin to calling me white as an insult, or that I sleep at night as an insult. Right, that’s just the norm.
Joseph Epstein, who grew up in Arkansas during Jim Crow, wrote in the Wall Street Journal: “The word racism wasn’t much in vogue in that place, or anywhere else, at that time. The majority of people who could rightly be called racist would not know what you were talking about if you accused them of racism.”
Now it has power though because we are not a racist nation. Due to the efforts of people like Martin Luther King Jr., A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin, James Farmer, Roy Wilkins Sr. and many others, legal and systemic racism with any support base outside of dreary 4-Chan chat rooms has long been eradicated. But what would Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and, now the entire Democratic establishment, do without it?
Broad swaths of talking points by Democratic presidential contenders, Democratic Congressional leaders, the Squad, and their endless braying allies in the media would simply vanish. They would have nothing to say. And they would have no way of locking up the black vote.
Epstein wrote: “The power of the word racism—always cocked, aimed and ready to fire—makes it impossible to say anything, outside the most obeisant praise, about black culture, black politicians, black entertainers or black anything. The entire subject is out of bounds to anyone who isn’t black, and many black intellectuals and writers are themselves in peril if they step outside the racial party line. This can’t be healthy, for blacks or for the country at large.”
Of course not. But it does get votes.
It’s ironic, again, but a sign of the ill-health of this strategy is that it now not just applies to every Republican and conservative, but to everyone to the “right” of whoever is saying it. That is how Sen. Kamala Harris can attack former Vice President Joe Biden as a racist (when Biden himself used it in more conventional fashion against Mitt Romney with “put ya’ll back in chains”) and the Squad can use it against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who also uses it relentlessly against Republicans. Talk about hoisted on your own petard!
For all the damage this continues to do, it could at least be given the veneer of a defense if indeed Democrat policies had been improving the lives of black Americans. But by virtually every measurement — education, crime, family structure, religion — their actual policies and cultural philosophies have made the majority of blacks worse off.
Again, just look at cities that have been governed by Democrats for decades. Look at Rep. Elijah Cummings’ Baltimore district, which for decades also has had a Democrat mayor and a Democrat city council. He uses the race card quite freely, but after nearly three decades in Washington calling his Republican opponents racists, how have blacks in his district faired? They live in rat-ravaged, high-crime, downward spiraling communities with families and church institutions in tatters.
Democratic policies have kept blacks seeing themselves as victims unable to rise in America, and the pervasive lie that America is racist against them doubles down on that victimhood. There is nothing that blacks can do because “America is racist!,” they are told over and over and over.
So vote Democrat.
The revolution for blacks will come when they stop seeing themselves as victims — which means they will need to listen to different voices than they have been listening to — and recognize they are fully equal with white people both under the law and in abilities. They will need to realize that they have real opportunities, they have real freedoms, and they have real responsibilities in conjunction with those freedoms.
Black Americans can become a fully thriving element of America, but not by doing what they have been doing the past 30 years. If there were any actually responsible Democratic leaders who cared about the welfare of American blacks, this is what they would be saying and doing.
I don’t hear any.
Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.