December 18, 2010
The Wolves Who Cry BoyBy Harry Beadle
The Reverends Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Jim Wallis, and Jeremiah Wright, and Father Michael Pfleger, insist that racism is alive and well in America. And they are right. All they need do is look in their respective mirrors to see some of its most active proponents.
Racism certainly still exists among some whites in the U.S. But anyone who thinks seriously -- and honestly -- about the issue also knows that those people are a dying breed. They never will die out completely, of course. Humans, contrary to liberal belief, never can achieve perfection. But their number is infinitely smaller than the reverends would have us believe.
Or, if such rampant racism still does exist, how do the reverends explain the widespread popularity of Shelby Steele, Thomas Sowell, Michelle Malkin, Herman Cain, Star Parker, J.C. Watts, Ken Blackwell, Marco Rubio, Allen West, or Lloyd Marcus? All are minoritiesl Surely the reverends noticed.
And these people are wildly popular with those the reverends insist are the most insidious racists: conservatives. Can they explain that? Or could it be that conservatives actually do believe in the idea of character over color? The Reverend Jesse, especially, should recall the dream of his friend, the Reverend Martin.
Also consider the outcome of the 2010 midterm elections. A large number of minority conservatives ran for office at both the state and national levels, and many were elected, or else they lost by very narrow margins.
Black or Hispanic conservatives were elected to Congress from South Carolina and Florida -- the Deep South! -- while conservatives, including one Hispanic, won congressional seats in Mexican border districts in New Mexico and Texas and came very close in Arizona. New Mexico has elected this country's first Hispanic female governor, also a conservative. The vast majority of blacks and Hispanics freely admit that they vote liberal, so it simply is not possible that any of the minority candidates could have been elected without significant numbers of conservative white votes.
Of course, racism is not exclusive to America or to whites. It is, in fact, a human trait. It always has existed, and it always will. And true racism cannot be excused. But to some extent and in some respects, every person believes the race he or she was born into is superior to all others. That does not automatically translate into the hatred or denigration of those born to other races.
What it really suggests is we as individuals are happy being exactly what we are, no matter our race. It also suggests that we love, revere, and prefer the culture into which we were born. And why should we not? It was how God created us. Nor does loving our own race mean that we cannot develop friendships with, admire, or love those of other races. It happens all the time in the real world -- if not in the reverends'.
Certainly, racism contributed to yesterday's poverty. Today's poverty has little to do with racism but much to do with culture: the culture of individual responsibility versus the culture of entitlement preached by the reverends. And while the idea of entitlement is not limited to minorities, those who insist that racism causes poverty do not want to hear that poor whites far outnumber poor minorities, and they especially don't want to hear that many poor whites also are conservative.
There also is the inescapable fact that while some native-born Americans of every color seem to languish, most immigrants of every color -- at least those who come here legally -- appear to flourish. The difference, of course, is that those immigrants have not been raised in or indoctrinated with the entitlement mindset, have not been told they cannot succeed without government help, or at least not without the reverends' aid. They are, in fact, grateful to be here, more than willing to work hard and get ahead. Most do.
And it raises the question: do the Reverends and all those who insist racism is rampant in American society -- NAACP President Benjamin Jealous and Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center also come to mind -- in fact help foment bigoted or racist feelings and attitudes among some people, those in whom no ill feelings existed before? If they do, does that not serve the Reverends' true purposes and help explain their motives?
I suggest that the true racists are those who constantly try to pit one race against another -- that those the reverends lead are victims not of white racism, but of a racist game being played by the reverends themselves and those like them. Their constant alarms of "racist" behavior raise fears in those who follow them, and in turn among whites.
The simple fact is that victimization is big business. If it were not, the reverends would not enjoy the incomes they do or the political influence they wield. It is beyond irony that what the reverends actually achieve is the perpetuation of slavery: emotional, intellectual, economic, and, in a sense, physical. It is the slavery of ignorance. And it is exactly what the reverends intend. It gives them power. It gives them wealth. Not their followers -- them.
Harry Beadle is a former news anchor for the CNN Radio Network and blogs at harrybeadle.com.