Dismissing as racists Republicans, Tea Partiers and conservatives who disagree with the liberal agenda has become the default position for more than a few Democrats and their allies in the media, nonprofit activism communities, and the academic world. Such knee-jerk responses to honest criticism only magnify the ugliness that so quickly envelopes many of the racially tinged controversies that regularly erupt in American politics. These dark embroglios highlight the critical need for a more honest and -- dare we say it -- tolerant discussion of race in American politics.
With the election of President Obama, race relations in America have obviously come a long way since former Ku Klux Klan member Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1952. Just as clearly, there is still a long way to go before our society attains the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream that his children "will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
In the same 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech, King also warned his followers that "in the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred." It's hard to see anything but bitterness and hatred being harvested when, as has been seen this week in the JournoList scandal, journalists and activists unjustly accuse political opponents of racism for political gain, especially when those making the accusation are hardly colorblind themselves.
The reality is that instead of upholding a colorblind society, the federal government has for decades imposed a multitude of racial preferences throughout the economy, especially in the areas of employment and contracting. For example, Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, found that the Obama administration used race and gender as criteria to decide which auto dealerships would be closed.
Then there's the Democrats' Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill, which mandates race- and gender-based hiring quotas for government agencies, private companies and subcontractors who do business with the government, and creates a raft of new Multicultural Mafia bureaucrats to enforce them. As Examiner Columnist Diana Furchtgott-Roth points out, the new law affirmatively requires discrimination on the basis of race. Surely the hypocrisy of defending such policies while branding as racist those who disagree with them is obvious. But until such hypocrisy becomes a thing of the past, the national dialogue on racial issues will be crippled and incomplete.