Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Thursday, August 12, 2004

For the Sake of Fairness...

As something of a counter-point to my previous posts criticizing liberals, here's an example of a conservative being a moron.

The short version is that a conservative group is running ads broadcast on stations which cater mostly to blacks, calling John Kerry "rich, white and wishy-washy" and criticizing Teresa Heinz-Kerry for calling herself an African-American.

The first part of that is true. John Kerry is rich. He is white. And he is profoundly wishy-washy. I have no problem with the facts as stated, although whether or not they should have been stated that way or at all is up for grabs. After all, if I find liberal race-baiting despicable, why shouldn't conservative race-baiting be equally despicable? I think the "taste of their own medicine" argument is stupid. My approach, basically, is that while I acknowledge the childishness, I just won't lose much sleep over it.

The second part, on the other hand, bugs me. And it's not because of the obvious argument that Teresa was born and raised in Mozambique, which is in Africa, and therefore she's African American. Patrick Rooney, the guy who funded the ads, knows that much. But he says, "His wife says she's an African American. While technically true, I don't believe a white woman, raised in Africa, surrounded by servants, qualifies." I'm sorry, qualifies for what? Is there some special status that America bestows upon anyone who "qualifies" for the magical appellation? Does she get a free bicycle? A different tax form? Does she get to vote twice?

This is beyond ridiculous. Rooney is basically reinforcing the same stereotype that liberals reinforce when they want to race-bait. Liberals tell blacks that rich black people aren't really black (or, a la Ted Rall, they are "House Niggers"). That blacks who have servants aren't really black. That the only authentic black people are poor, and therefore they should rally around the Democratic party which promises to give them special favors. It drives me nuts when liberals do that, because it reinforces a crippling victimhood status which keep blacks in a cycle of poverty, violence, drugs, ignorance and illegitimacy, rather than helping them out of it.

Rooney's commercial is basically doing the same thing. The message is, "You are special because you don't have servants. You aren't rich. You aren't surrounded by luxury, and therefore you are a cohesive group. You should maintain that group identity, and not allow outsiders to enter. Theresa Heinz Kerry is wealthy and has white skin, and therefore not one of you, and therefore..." Therefore what? You should reject her ideas wholesale? You should vote against her husband? She can't possibly speak for you, or want to help you? The reality is that all presidents are wealthy, and we've never let that stop us before. It might be lamentable, but it certainly is the reality.

Here's the money quote:

"Rooney, who is white, said in an e-mail response to an inquiry from The Washington Post: 'I support [the] group because the genuine word from the black community should be heard, not white folks saying for them.'"

Dude, do you seriously not realize how dumb that sounds? You are the president of a group called People of Color United. You are speaking on behalf of that group. You are white. Wow.

Reverting to conservative mode, here's where the liberals fight lunacy with lunacy:

"The Kerry campaign denounced the ads, all of which are being aired on radio stations with largely black audiences. 'It's disgusting that the president's political allies are now using race as a political weapon,' said Bill Lynch, deputy manager of the Kerry campaign."

What, disgusting that it's happening, or disgusting that it's being done by someone other than you, for once? Lynch continues:

"First a group of right-wing Swift boat veterans began smearing John Kerry's military service, and now another group has resorted to playing racial politics."

I didn't hear Lynch saying anything about Michael Moore's smear attacks, or attacks by George Soros', or any comment about the anti-Bush movies and books which have and will come out this summer. Once again, the selectivity of his rage diminishes the impact of that rage.