The legacy of politicizing minorities
Armstrong Williams | 2/20/2014, 3:44 p.m.
How can we accomplish anything of major national importance—whether it’s helping the uninsured get health coverage or overhauling our financial system—if those who stand on one side of the divide are assumed to be acting and thinking out of a deep hatred for people of color? It makes conversation impossible, and I think that’s precisely what it’s intended to do. The left, being unable to show us how we’re wrong, simply insists on it. It’s an argument by assertion, an argument by volume.
The fact that a substantial number of American Blacks call themselves Republicans should counter the blanket charge that Republicans are racist, but it doesn’t. With the growing presence of Blacks on the conservative airwaves (Larry Elder, myself and others), in the op-ed sections of major newspapers (e.g., Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele and Walter Williams) and in the halls of power (Sen. Tim Scott, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Republican National Chairman Michael Steele), you would think the idea that Republican policy positions are inherently racist would have dissipated by now. After all, isn’t it difficult to believe that such bright, accomplished and well-educated conservative Black men and women would be somehow incapable of seeing that their conservatism is in fact a brand of racism? The fact is, it’s not hard to believe.
The sad truth, however, is that Black and Latino conservatives continue to be stigmatized either as dupes or traitors to their own race. But what you’ll often hear from Black conservatives is that the left’s solutions to the problems that ail minority communities are themselves racist because they operate on the fundamental premise that minorities are inferior, incapable of helping themselves. There’s almost nothing, according to Democrats, that minorities can accomplish without the help of the government. To hear some Democrats speak, minorities are incapable of doing just about anything without a handout or a leg up.
Believing—as white and Black conservatives alike do—that minorities don’t need anyone’s help to get ahead in life may at worst be naive, but it is not racist, and certainly not as racist as the notion underpinning Democratic policy—that minorities can’t make it in this world without free money, special scholarships, quotas, affirmative action, lower admissions standards and other mechanisms employed to propel them forward.
The Democrat Party was the party of slavery and the party of Jim Crow. They believed that we were inferior back then, and they believe that we are inferior now.
Isn’t racism defined as a belief in the inherent inferiority of a group of people based on their skin color? And yet it is somehow inexplicably not racist if your intentions are good—not to hold them down, but to help them out. Thus, many Black Republicans find themselves labeled Uncle Toms, race traitors and Oreos (Black on the outside, white on the inside) for daring to say that Blacks don’t need anyone’s—much less the government’s—help to get ahead in life.
Saying that we’re all equal and that no one deserves a handout more than the person sitting next to him makes us racist? The litany of accusations can reach absurd proportions. You want public schools to focus more on teaching about this nation’s founding in our public schools rather than the history of Swahili in Africa? You’re a racist. You want the government to stop handing out our tax dollars to companies simply because they’re run by Blacks or Hispanics or women? You must be a racist. You want to keep health insurance the way it is and not turn it all over to politicians and bureaucrats in Washington? You must be a racist. It sure gets old fast.
It is difficult to believe that those who so casually and so quickly accuse others of racism have good intentions, and it is difficult not to take it personally, particularly when they are calumniating you to implement policies that hurt this country I love. But I have faith that they can only cry wolf so many times before their baseless lies will lose their effect. What’s more, name-calling is a logical fallacy. You can call me all the names you want, but if I’m right, then I’m right. You can call the truth mean, old-fashioned or uncool, but it remains the truth.
Armstrong Williams is the author of the brand-new book “Reawakening Virtues.” Join him 4-5 p.m. EST at www.livestream.com/armstrongwilliams or tune in 4-5 p.m. EST on S.C. WGCV, Sirius/XM Power 128, 6-7 p.m. and 5-6 a.m. EST. Become a fan on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.