Have you noticed how, whenever public figures make racist statements that get them in trouble, conservatives are always caught holding African Americans to higher standards and liberals are caught holding them to lower ones?
Commentators will spend the next few weeks lumping together scrappy Nevada rancher/Tea Party mascot Cliven Bundy and billionaire L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling over their recent racial remarks, citing these as proof of the lingering scourge of bigotry in our society. Some will try to tie both figures to the political far right—until their editors remind them that Sterling has given to multiple Democratic politicians and liberal causes over the past 25 years, including $2,000 to Democratic Senator Bill Bradley in 1989; $1,000 to Democrat Gray Davis in 1991; $1,000 to Democratic Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy in 1991; $5,000 to Gray Davis’s California gubernatorial campaign in 2002; and $1,000 to an animal rights proposition in 2008—and $0 to Republican candidates or conservative causes.
But in fact the two men’s statements have zero in common, and reflect a sharp divide between Democratic and Republican views of African Americans traceable all the way back to the institution of slavery, through the mid-20th-century civil rights movement, and up to today.
Consider: Senator Lyndon Johnson, Democrats’ civil rights champion, opined in 1957, “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days, and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness…” How dare those uppity Negroes demand full equality rather than the illusion of equality!
While filming a segment on insurance fraud in 1981, liberal 60 Minutes anchor Mike Wallace speculated, “Blacks and Hispanics were too busy eating watermelons and tacos to read the fine print on their insurance policies.” If they can read at all, you can almost hear him adding under his breath.
Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) once said of former Klansman Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), “I do not think it is an exaggeration at all to say to my friend from West Virginia that he would have been a great senator at any moment… He would have been right during the great conflict of civil war in this nation.” Blacks’ freedom be damned, of course, if it would have besmirched the glory of his filibustering friend.
In 2006, Joe Biden gushed of Senator Barack Obama, “[Y]ou got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” Also raving about Obama’s political potential, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid described Obama’s possible appeal to Democratic voters: “[L]ight-skinned… with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”
Meanwhile, arguing against Obama’s racial fitness as a candidate, former President Bill Clinton groused to Senator Ted Kennedy, “A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.”
In 2012, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schulz and other liberals called former Secretary of State and Republican National Convention Speaker Condoleezza Rice “window dressing,” a “token,” and “nice shiny packaging.”
It isn’t just white liberals who condescend to African Americans. In 2001, Latino California Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante unleashed the n-word in a speech on black history to a shocked African-American audience. Apparently he had assumed that, as blacks, they wouldn’t mind being insulted.
Indian-American abortion doctor Ashutash Ron Virmani was caught on videotape in 2012 bragging to a group of pro-life activists that his services provided a benefit to taxpayers. He challenged them, “Let me see you adopt one of those ugly black babies.”
Black liberals also patronize African Americans. In an Esquire cover interview in 1992, director Spike Lee conveyed his disdain for interracial couples: “[W]hite women when they want to be with black men, they just know all they have to do is go to some club… Most black men… have nothin’ going for them, nothin’. Doesn’t matter what she’s doing, what she’s about, she’s just there, and you have a prize—a white woman on your arm. A trophy.”
In 2008, former Obama spiritual advisor Reverend Jeremiah Wright informed an NAACP audience that they have separate but equal brains: “Africans and African-Americans are right-brained, subject-oriented in their learning style. They have a different way of learning.”
Now we have Donald Sterling ordering his girlfriend not to sully his basketball games with black people: “You can sleep with them. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it… and not to bring them to my games.”
So according to Democrats and their supporters, African Americans are: uppity, immature, stupid, inarticulate, dirty, incapable of speaking proper English, lacking in dignity, ugly, congenitally emotional, unskilled, tokens, and good only for a romp-in-the-hay. Do I have that about right, Dems?
Meanwhile, the left is in a tizzy because Bundy suggested that black people are capable of accomplishing more than staying home and collecting Democrat-sponsored welfare checks.
Note how the media left out the parts where Bundy insisted that he would never want this country to go back to slavery; where his black bodyguard declared that Bundy was not racist and that he would take a bullet for him; or where Congress of Racial Equality spokesperson Niger Innis admitted that Bundy had made “an important point.” Liberals are just upset that Bundy wants to hold blacks to the same standards as whites.
Other examples of “racism” in which Republicans used inartful phrasing to discourage black dependency:
Also in 2012, GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney gave a speech to the NAACP in which he decried welfare dependence: “I am also a believer in the free-enterprise system. I believe it can bring change where so many well-meaning government programs have failed. I’ve never heard anyone look around an impoverished neighborhood and say, ‘You know, there’s too much free enterprise around here.’” For this he was rudely booed, then accused by mentally ill liberals like Lawrence O’Donnell of having tried to elicit boos so he could play the footage in racist districts.
In just about every radio show he’s ever done, Rush Limbaugh is accused of racism for saying crazy things like “Continued unemployment benefits increases unemployment.”
That all you got, Dems?
Every party has its loose cannons. I’m just glad that those in our party who speak inelegantly invoke controversy for envisioning a world in which races are held to the same standard, rather than one in which minorities are perpetually treated like children.
- Cliven Bundy And The Real Racists (personalliberty.com)
- Bundy, Sterling and a ‘nation of cowards’ (washingtonpost.com)
- Modern racists just repeat conservative talking points: Donald Sterling, Cliven Bundy and the ugly face of GOP policies (salon.com)
- John Oliver Talks Cliven Bundy & Donald Sterling On ‘Last Week Tonight’ Premiere (huffingtonpost.com)
- “Donald Sterling and the Neverending Fantasy of ‘Democrat’ Racism/Oh, how eager the conservative press is to call Donald Sterling a Democrat!” (althouse.blogspot.com)