Two items come to our attention today as to the subject matter.
The first, from Jonah Goldberg:
What if America transcended race, and Barack Obama wasn’t invited?
The question comes to mind as cries of racism grow ever louder from Obama’s supporters.
No one should be surprised. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, liberal Democrats have to accuse their opponents of racism. Indeed, somewhat to their credit, fighting racism - alas, even where it doesn’t exist - is one of the reasons they became liberal Democrats in the first place.
And that’s the great irony of the Obama presidency. It was Obama’s supporters who hinted, teased, promised or prophesied that Obama would help America “transcend race.” But now, it is they who shrink from their own promised land.
After all, it was not Obama’s detractors who immediately fell into the comfortable groove of racial grievance and familiar “narratives” when Henry Louis Gates insisted that a police instructor in racial sensitivity had to be a racist. That was Obama and his choir of heralds.
From day one, Obama’s supporters have tirelessly cultivated the idea that anything inconvenient to the first black president just might be terribly, terribly racist.
A writer for Slate magazine insisted journalists must not call attention to the fact that Obama is “skinny.” Such observations fuel racism by highlighting his physical appearance, and that in turn might suddenly alert racist American voters to the fact that Obama is . . . wait for it . . . black.
Now that he’s president, if you question his tax policies, energy plans or health-care ambitions, you are “hoping he will fail” - and that, with the help of roundabout reasoning, is tantamount to hoping we cannot transcend race.
For instance, actress Janeane Garofalo summed up the tea parties thusly: “This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up.”
A more sophisticated version comes from Princeton professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell, who finds racism in complaints that socialized medicine would result in fewer Americans “taking responsibility” for their own health care. “What we know over the past 25 years,” she told NPR, “is that language of personal responsibility is often a code language used against poor and minority communities.”
In Goldberg's piece (do read it all), we see numerous charges of racism that are substantively lacking in the evidence to buttress the claim and instead are clearly nothing more than political ploys. A redefinition of terms to foster an agenda.
Then there's this:
Celia Padron went on a Hawaiian vacation last year, lured by the prospect of beautiful beaches and friendly people. She, her husband and two teenage daughters enjoyed the black sand beach at Makena State Park on Maui. But a Hawaiian girl accosted her two teenage daughters, saying, "Go back to the mainland" and "Take your white ass off our beaches," says Padron, a pediatric gastroenterologist in New Jersey.
When her husband, 68 at the time, stepped between the girls, three young Hawaiian men slammed him against a vehicle, cutting his ear, and choked and punched him, Padron says. Police officers persuaded the Padrons not to press charges, saying it would be expensive for them to return for court appearances and a Hawaiian judge would side with the Hawaiian assailants, the doctor contends.
"There is no doubt in my mind [the attack] was racially motivated," she adds.
An isolated incident one might say... but hold the phone:
- The last day of school has long been unofficially designated "Beat Haole Day," with white students singled out for harassment and violence. (Haole — pronounced how-lee — is slang for a foreigner, usually white, and sometimes is used as a racial slur.)
- A non-Native Hawaiian student who challenged the Hawaiian-preference admission policy at a wealthy private school received a $7 million settlement this year.
- A 12-year-old white girl new to Hawaii from New York City needed 10 surgical staples to close a gash in her head incurred when she was beaten in 2007 by a Native Hawaiian girl who called her a "fucking haole."
- A vocal segment of Native Hawaiians is pushing for independence to end the "prolonged occupation" by the United States and governance by natives.
- Demonstrators shouting racial epithets at whites disrupted a statehood celebration in 2006.
And then there's this:
A Hawaiian Studies professor at the University of Hawaii, Haunani-Kay Trask, is one of the most caustic critics of whites in the islands. In her 1999 book, From A Native Daughter, Trask wrote: "Just as … all exploited peoples are justified in feeling hostile and resentful toward those who exploit them, so we Hawaiians are justified in such feelings toward the haole. This is the legacy of racism, of colonialism."
In a poem titled, "Racist White Woman," Trask wrote: "I could kick/Your face, puncture/Both eyes./You deserve this kind/Of violence./No more vicious/Tongues, obscene/Lies./Just a knife/Slitting your tight/Little heart."
Trask's opposite number is Conklin, the "anti-sovereignty" white activist who has lived on Oahu for 17 years and says he loves Hawaii's culture, spirituality and history, but is labeled a racist by some of his detractors. He wrote a book entitled Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State.
"Here in Hawaii, there is no compulsion to speak out on racist attacks. There are all these hate crimes and violent things happening to white people and you don't hear sovereignty activists speaking out against it," says Conklin, who manages a massive website on Hawaiian issues. "The violence has been going on for years and it's always been hush-hush."
So in the Goldberg piece, we see an agenda that redefines racism as a means to alienate political opposition. And in the follow-on piece, we see real racism being minimized, even excused, by the power elite who too are focused on agenda fostering.
Thankfully, there's a President that transcends race, one who comes as a uniter, not a divider, one who has consistently been a unifying force and whose focus on shared values will go along way toward bridging racial divides.
He'll see all this for what it is and expend his energy and resources to make it right.
Umm... just don't hold your breath.
UPDATE: Via SC&A, a related 'toon: