Shakespeare’s observation of hollow concern speaks volumes about modern American race relations.
Chris Matthews, a liberal Democrat to the core, is the most recent case. The host of TV’s “Hardball” show, Matthews, who seems to border on near sexual ecstasy when talking about Obama, made the error of saying, “I forgot he was black,” when commenting on Obama’s State of the Union speech.
The righteous wrath of those seeking to show their morally superior racial thinking pounced on this delicious target. Professional race hustlers professed their usual indignation. And Matthews, good liberal that he is, was quickly forgiven after doing the now-traditional white belly crawl.
Saint Harry Reid, always holier-than-thou on race issues, also showed his true colors on race when a not-for-public comment went public. Reid noted, as I suspect most white Americans did privately, that Obama was “light skinned” (i.e. had white blood in him) and did not have a “Negro dialect.” Publicly, of course, Reid & Co. pretend not to notice such things.
But liberals aren’t fools. Reid is the highest ranking Democrat after Obama himself and hard-headed pragmatists, who would be making these kinds of comments front page news if said by a conservative, quickly buried the story. The American press corps, overwhelmingly left wingers and registered Democrats, let another fellow traveler slide.
V.P. Joe Biden’s comments on Obama — similar to Reid’s — also got a pass. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
Mathews and Reid and Biden, of course, live in lily-white wealthy worlds of gated communities and private schools and token Negroes who they take pictures with.
Democratic Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia talked openly about there being “white niggers, too.” But again, with that magic “D” before his name, got a pass.
When you compare the reaction to supposedly racial remarks by GOP Senator Trent Lott or even talk jock Don Imus, the reality glares like a neon sign.
Racism and its supposed evil is not the issue. Power and the accumulation of power is what it is all about, and pounding your opponents over the head with the racist club is simply a tool, a means to an end. Negroes since Reconstruction times have been pawns in the game.
Despite the carefully crafted denials, Matthews, Reid, Biden and Byrd are all internally in the same mold as George Wallace. While Wallace wore it on his sleeve to accumulate political power, modern Democrats suppress it for the exact same reason. But now and then their true feelings slip out. Like the drug counselor who privately smokes pot, it seems those who squawk the loudest are personally consumed with it. When it comes to racism, Democrats, like prohibitionists, are public enemies but private friends.
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