Excerpted from MUGGED: RACIAL DEMAGOGUERY FROM THE SEVENTIES TO OBAMA by Ann Coulter by arrangement with Sentinel, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), Inc., Copyright © Ann Coulter, 2012.
Chapter 1: Race Wars of Convenience, Not Necessity
The Democrats' slogan during the Bush years was: "Dissent is patriotic." Under Obama, it's: "Dissent is racist."
Liberals luxuriate in calling other people "racists" out of pure moral preening. They seem to imagine that in African American households throughout the land you'll find mantel portraits of Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy and Keith Olbermann. (More likely, those mantels would have portraits of Bernie Goetz.)
Beginning in the seventies, there was constant racial turmoil in this country, stirred up by the media, academia and Hollywood to promote their fantasy of America as "Mississippi Burning."
This was madness. There had been a real fight over civil rights for a century, especially in the previous two decades, but by the end of the sixties, it was over. Segregationist violence was gone, and all public places integrated. But in their minds, liberals lived in a heroic past, where they were the ones manning the barricades and marching against segregation. Liberals were hallucinating-about the present and the past.
Contrary to the myth Democrats told about themselves-that they were hairy-chested warriors for equal rights-the entire history of civil rights consists of Republicans battling Democrats to guarantee the constitutional rights of black people.
Not all Democrats were segregationists, but all segregationists were Democrats and there were enough of them to demand compliance from the rest of the party, just as today's Democrats submit to the demands of the proabortion feminists. The civil rights protests brought attention to injustice, and voters needed to know what was happening in the Democratic South. But the hoopla was unnecessary.
What really made the Democrats sit up and take notice was that blacks began voting, and would soon outnumber the Democrats' segregationist wing. That was accomplished by Thurgood Marshall winning cases in the Supreme Court, Republicans in Congress passing civil rights laws and Republicans in the White House enforcing both the court rulings and the laws-sometimes at the end of a gun.
Despite lingering hard feelings over the Civil War, Republican Dwight Eisenhower snatched large parts of the South from the Democrats in the 1952 presidential election. Boosted by his war record in the patriotic, military-admiring South, this Republican candidate carried Tennessee, Virginia, Florida and Texas-and he nearly won Kentucky, North Carolina and West Virginia, losing Kentucky by a microscopic .07 percent. The Democrats' dream team that year was Adlai Stevenson-and Alabama segregationist John Sparkman.
(Eisenhower started a trend, but as far back as the 1920s Republicans were sporadically winning southern states. In 1920, Warren Harding won Tennessee and in 1928 Herbert Hoover won Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida and Texas. Between Hoover and Eisenhower, Republicans didn't win a single presidential election, much less the South. The Hoover/Eisenhower southern states were the same states Nixon and Reagan would do best in-not the states Barry Goldwater carried in 1964. More on that to come.)
Eisenhower put a slew of blacks into prominent positions in his administration- unlike Barack Obama he chose competent ones-and quickly moved to desegregate the military, something President Harry Truman had announced, but failed to fully implement.
It took a lifelong soldier who had smashed the Nazi war machine to compel total racial integration in the military. Eisenhower may have felt as his fellow Republican and soldier Senator Charles Potter did when he stood on crutches in the well of the Senate-he lost both legs in World War II - and denounced the Democrats for refusing to pass a civil rights bill. "I fought beside Negroes in the war," Potter said. "I saw them die for us. For the Senate of the United States to repay these valiant men . . . by a watereddown version of this legislation would make a mockery of the democratic concept we hold so dear."
When Eisenhower ran for reelection in 1956, the Republican Party platform endorsed the recent Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education desegregating public schools. The Democratic platform did not. Indeed, a number of Democratic governors proceeded to ignore the landmark decision. Ike responded by sending in the 101st Airborne to walk black children to school.
In his second term, Eisenhower pushed through two major civil rights laws and created the Civil Rights Commission-over the stubborn objections of Democrats. Senator Lyndon Johnson warned his fellow segregationist Democrats, "Be ready to take up the goddamned nigra bill again." Liberal hero, Senator Sam Ervin told his fellow segregationists, "I'm on your side, not theirs," adding ruefully, "we've got to give the goddamned niggers something."
Vice President Richard Nixon pulled some procedural tricks as president of the Senate to get the 1957 bill passed, for which he was personally thanked by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But LBJ had stripped the first bill of enforcement provisions, so Eisenhower introduced another, stronger civil rights bill in 1960. All eighteen votes against both bills were by Democrats. Democratic opposition to civil rights was becoming what we call "a pattern."
Unfortunately for the cause of equality, Nixon lost the 1960 presidential election and there wasn't much enthusiasm for aggressively enforcing civil rights laws in either the Kennedy or Johnson administrations. That would have to wait for Nixon's return.
But with the electoral tide turning-thanks in large part to E isenhower's civil rights laws and Thurgood Marshall's lawsuits-LBJ did a complete turnaround as president and suddenly decided to push through a dramatic civil rights bill. Black people were voting in large enough numbers that Democrats were either going to have to abandon the segregationists or never win another national election, so Johnson switched sides out of a sincere commitment to civil rights. (Northern blacks had begun moving to the Democratic Party with President Franklin Roosevelt's usual enticement of government largesse.)
Even with a Democratic president behind the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a far larger percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted for it. Eminent Democratic luminaries voted against it, including Senators Ernest Hollings, Richard Russell, Sam Ervin, Albert Gore Sr., J. William Fulbright (Bill Clinton's mentor) and of course, Robert Byrd. Overall, 82 percent of Senate Republicans supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964, compared to only 66 percent of Democrats. In the House, 80 percent of Republicans voted for it, while only 63 percent of Democrats did.
Crediting Democrats for finally coming on board with Republican civil rights policies by supporting the 1964 act would be nearly as absurd as giving the Democrats all the glory for Reagan's 1981 tax cuts-which passed with the support of 99 percent of Republicans but only 29 percent of Democrats.
Nixon launched his national comeback with a 1966 column bashing Democrats as "the party of Maddox, Mahoney and Wallace" trying "to squeeze the last ounces of political juice out of the rotting fruit of racial injustice." One can see why Democrats would later be desperate to impeach him, especially Sam Ervin, a major segregationist who headed the Senate Watergate panel.
One of the main reasons Nixon chose a rookie like Spiro Agnew as his vice presidential nominee was Agnew's sterling civil rights record. Agnew had passed some of the first bans on racial discrimination in public housing in the nation-before the federal laws-and then beaten segregationist George Mahoney for governor of Maryland in 1966. That was the Mahoney in "Maddox, Mahoney and Wallace."
With the segregationist vote split between Democrat Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace in the 1968 presidential election, Nixon won. In his inaugural address, he said, "No man can be fully free while his neighbor is not. To go forward at all is to go forward together. This means black and white together, as one nation, not two. The laws have caught up with our conscience. What remains is to give life to what is in the law: to ensure at last that as all are born equal in dignity before God, all are born equal in dignity before man."
President Nixon proceeded to desegregate the public schools with lightning speed. Just within Nixon's first two years, black students attending segregated schools in the South declined from nearly 70 percent to 18.4 percent. There was more desegregation of American schools in Nixon's first term than in any historical period before or since.
During the campaign, Nixon had said, "people in the ghetto have to have more than an equal chance. They should be given a dividend." As president, he followed through by imposing formal racial quotas and timelines on the building trades. The construction industry got a lot of business from the federal government and yet had doggedly refused to hire blacks. They had been given long enough do so voluntarily. Nixon was fed up with the union's foot dragging and demanded results.
LBJ has been heaped with praise merely for having proposed an affirmative action plan for the building trades. But he backed down from pursuing the plan as soon as the first objection was raised. As with Truman's unenforced executive order desegregating the military, it took a Republican president to actually get it done.
The century-long struggle for civil rights was over. Attorney Thurgood Marshall had won his cases before the Supreme Court. President Eisenhower made clear he was willing to deploy the U.S. military to enforce those victories. President Nixon had desegregated the schools and building trades. Racist lunatic-and Democrat-Eugene "Bull" Connor was voted out of office by the good people of Birmingham, Alabama. The world had changed so much that even a majority of Democrats were at last supporting civil rights. After nearly a century of Republicans fighting for civil rights against Democratic segregationists, it was over.
That was the precise moment when liberals decided it was time to come out strongly against race discrimination.
For the next two decades liberals engaged in a ritualistic reenactment of the struggle for civil rights-long after it had any relevance to what was happening in the world. Their obsession with race was weirdly disconnected from actual causes and plausible remedies. They simply insisted on staging virtual Halloween dress-up parties, in which some people were designated "racists," others "victims of racist violence" and themselves, "saviors of black America."
The fact that New York City was the crucible of so much racial agitation in the seventies and eighties shows how phony it was. There was never any public segregation in New York. No one was moved to the back of the bus. There were no "whites only" water fountains. There were no segregated lunch counters. (Blacks could even get a sixteen-ounce soda in New York City back then!) But liberals love to drape themselves in decades-old glories they had nothing to do with.
Defending himself on Hannity & Colmes in 2004 after sneering about the competence of Condoleezza Rice, the first black female secretary of state in U.S. history, Democratic operative and fatuous blowhard Bob Beckel boasted: "I spent a lot of time out in the vineyards on the civil rights movement." Proving it, he said, "I've got scars on the back of my neck."
Beckel was between twelve and fifteen years old during the big civil rights struggles-such as the 1961 Freedom Rides and the murders of three CORE workers by the Ku Klux Klan in 1964. He was still in high school when Martin Luther King was transitioning from civil rights to the "poor people's campaign" and white liberals were moving on to antiwar protests. Next, Beckel will be claiming to have been a member of 1927 Yankees.
Once-respected Mount Holyoke history professor Joseph Ellis also bragged about his work in the civil rights movement. He told one reporter that he had been followed and harassed by racist southern cops while on the Freedom Trail in Mississippi. In June 2001, the Boston Globe looked into the facts and discovered that this, along with many of Ellis's other fantasies, was a complete fabrication. He had never been a civil rights worker.
For Carl Bernstein, the Washington Post reporter whose famous Watergate reportage with Bob Woodward became a book and movie, All the President's Men, the moment of civil rights heroism came when he was on a B'nai B'rith youth trip through the South when the train broke down in Greensboro, North Carolina. Carl alleges that he led the other teenagers in a sit-in at the train station cafeteria, refusing to leave the black restaurant and nearly getting arrested. For this act of brave defiance, Bernstein claims in his book, Loyalties, he was later reprimanded by B'nai B'rith leaders.
Reporter and author Adrian Havill searched for any evidence of the alleged sit-in for his book, Deep Truth: The Lives of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. He interviewed dozens of people who ought to have known about it-other students on the trip, locals involved in trying to desegregate the station, B'nai B'rith leaders. Not one recalled such an incident. One friend on the trip said, "It is apocryphal at best." No Greensboro newspapers mentioned it, and several Jewish leaders denied it ever happened.
As long as they are in no real danger, liberals love to hallucinate racist violence, with themselves playing the heroes defending poor blacks in imaginary physical confrontations-or at least blistering editorials. Every liberal over a certain age claims to have marched in Selma and accompanied the Freedom Riders.
A favorite liberal taunt is to accuse conservatives of clinging to an idealized past. Poor, right-wing Americans vaguely sense the world is changing and now they're lashing out. What about the idealized past liberals cling to? They all act as if they were civil rights foot soldiers constantly getting beat up by 500-pound southern sheriffs, while every twenty-year old Republican today is treated as if he is on Team Bull Connor. At best, the struggle for civil rights was an intra-Democratic Party fight. More accurately, it was Republicans and blacks fighting Democrat segregationists and enablers.
While liberals spent the decades after the civil rights era pretending they were fighting 1962 battles-when most of them were five years old-the rest of us had to live through race riots, denunciations of the police, extreme restrictions on speech, liberal racial pandering and a stream of racial Armageddons.
For decades, one racist incident after another filled the news pages: a racist police siege of Louis Farrakhan's mosque; trigger-happy cops shooting peaceful blacks, like Jose (Kiko) Garcia and Edmund Perry; Nazis on the Wappinger Falls police force; black children held down while having their faces forcibly painted white; the racist prosecution of Washington, DC mayor Marion Barry; police brutality against an innocent black motorist in Los Angeles; and on and on. Loads of these hate crimes turned out to be hoaxes, but they would be followed by retaliatory crimes against whites, which were not.
From race riots to race hoaxes to the automatic excuse machine for black criminals, the country had gone mad.
Contrary to what you might imagine, all this did little to improve the situation of blacks. In fact, it was exactly the opposite of what was needed.
After slavery, most of black America was starting at the bottom rung of social advancement. Not only that, but they had spent centuries in the backwoods culture of Southern hillbillies. Thomas Sowell points out that much of what is thought to be black culture is actually Southern "cracker" culture, imported, like Russell Brand, from the Northern provinces of the British Isles.
In his book, Black Rednecks and White Liberals, Sowell traces behavioral patterns of various early Americans back to their original regions in the British Isles. Most colonialists in Massachusetts, for example, came from a small area in East Anglia. They were educated, religious and genteel.
White Southerners were another story. Much of the Southern population was made up of eighteenth-century immigrants from the "Celtic fringe"-Scotland, Ireland and Wales. As Sowell demonstrates with a mountain of hilarious examples, the unique cultural attributes of these British highlanders included wanton and brutal violence, hair-trigger tempers, an obsession with pride, shocking promiscuity, unalterable sloth, illiteracy and a total lack of respect for human life, including their own.
Today the only place we see this culture is on the TV show Cops-and in the black underclass.
The people of the Celtic fringe were practically a different species from those who settled New England. In the seventeenth century, rape was a capital offense in New England, while in some parts of the South it was treated as a misdemeanor on the order of petty theft. Around the time of the Civil War, illiteracy was virtually nonexistent in New England, but more than 20 percent of Southern whites still couldn't read. In military IQ tests administered during World War I, black recruits from northern states like Ohio, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania scored higher than white southerners from Georgia, Arkansas, Kentucky and Mississippi.
The very word "cracker" is thought by some scholars to refer to the prideful boasting of the transplanted British highlanders. Remnants of their fighting spirit has proved a boon to the U.S. military, but a few centuries ago, their skirmishing included fights that involved biting off noses, gouging out eyes, and ripping the ears off their opponents' heads. Far from objecting, local crowds would enthusiastically cheer the combatants on. A millennium ago, even Roman armies couldn't subdue the barbarians of Scotland and instead built a gigantic wall, penning them in the north.
David Hackett Fischer gives an example of the "exceptionally violent" backcountry ways from 1787 newspaper accounts in his book, Albion's Seed: "robbers seized a man named Davis and tortured him at his own hearth with red-hot irons until he told them where his money was hidden. Then they burned his farm for their amusement and 'left the poor man tied to behold all in flames.'" The raiding parties "mutilated their victims for sport." These were families-and women were often the most violent.
A British soldier, Major George Hanger, said of the backcountry Scots- Irish, "I have known one of these fellows [to] travel two hundred miles through the woods never keeping any road or path, guided by the sun by day, and the stars by night, to kill a particular person."
It was these colorful folkways of the Celtic fringe that southern blacks were marinated in for centuries, but today are written about by twentyfirst- century sociologists as a specifically "black culture."
These traits have nothing to do with Africa or the legacy of slavery. The quaint customs of southern rednecks came directly from their Scottish, Welsh and Irish ancestors and were passed on to southern blacks.
The East Coast-West Coast hip-hop rivalry, with its "diss tracks" and shootings and murders, are not a distant echo from the plains of Africa, but a modern version of the Hatfields and the McCoys, with much greater use of the F-word. For decades, raging right up to the twentieth century, these two Scottish families warred across the Kentucky and West Virginia border, leaving at least a dozen dead.
The Southern style of religious worship also lives on in black churches, as well as some white Protestant evangelical churches. It can be seen in the style, if not the substance, of Louis Farrakhan and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Citing Frederick Law Olmstead's direct observation of Southern religious services in the late nineteenth century, Sowell describes the technique thus: The preacher "nearly all the time cried aloud at the utmost stretch of his voice," "had the habit of frequently repeating a phrase," and exhibited "a dramatic talent that included leaning far over the desk, with his arms stretched forward, gesticulating violently, yelling at the highest key, and catching his breath with an effort."
Voting Democrat is another bad habit blacks picked up from their neighbors. Southern blacks voted against their fellow Southerners only immediately after the Civil War and during the Democrats' Jim Crow period. But then things settled down and blacks began supporting the same southern Democratic demagogues as white southerners did. The smarmy disingenuousness of a Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, or John Edwards seems familiar and homey to southern whites and blacks alike.
It is a telling fact that although most blacks detested Ronald Reagan-a 90 percent black jury even found his attempted assassin, John Hinckley, not guilty19-a majority of black Alabamians came to support segregationist rabble-rouser Democrat George Wallace in his later years.
Wallace had stood in the schoolhouse door rather than allow the University of Alabama to be integrated; he appealed to white supremacists for political advantage; and he ran for president expressly as a segregationist. As late as 1970, Wallace had used a campaign flyer in his run for governor that proclaimed: "Wake Up, Alabama! Blacks vow to take over Alabama," accompanied by a picture of a blonde white girl on a park bench surrounded by seven leering black men.
But just about a decade later, Wallace went to black voters and apologized, admitting he was a Christian sinner-and they forgave him. Wallace won 90 percent of the black vote in his last run for governor in 1982.
Wallace spoke the language of the South; Reagan didn't.
Reagan was a straightforward Californian without an ounce of southern populism. He wasn't a demonstrative speaker, he didn't openly discuss his Christianity and there was nary an opportunity for audience participation during his speeches.
Even what is risibly called Ebonics-black dialect-can be traced back to the British highlanders, who used such words and phrases as "I be," "You be," "ax" (ask), "acrost" (across), "do" (door), "dat" (that). As Sowell says, "No such words came from Africa."
Luckily for southern rednecks, their wild and wooly ways weren't tolerated in the North. They were barely tolerated in the South, where these poor whites were used as a buffer against the Indians, but not much more could be done about them, inasmuch as the rednecks far outnumbered the gentry.
Long before there was discrimination against blacks, there was discrimination against white southerners. When large numbers of these country people moved north during World War II , they were aggressively excluded from neighborhoods, jobs and homes-not because of their skin color, but their accents.
It was grossly unfair: Not all southerners were slothful, promiscuous drunks. But northerners couldn't be expected to examine each case individually to ascertain whether an applicant was Robert Penn Warren or Bull Connor, Flannery O'Connor or Casey Anthony. It was more efficient simply to discriminate against all southerners.
The identical thing happened with Irish immigrants in the nineteenth century. They brought many of the same primitive behaviors directly from the British Isles-but when their native folkways turned violent, they were met with Anglo-Saxon law and order.
The North's zero-tolerance policy for a backward culture forced the white trash out of both the Irish and southern rednecks, leaving just enough of them in their natural state to populate modern reality shows and the Kennedy family.
Unfortunately, such harsh but effective policies were briefly practiced and then guiltily abandoned when it came to southern blacks. In fact, New York City mayor John Lindsay expressly argued against bringing black people into the middle class through the immigrant model of assimilation in the Kerner Report, examining the reasons for the 1967 race riots.
Although some blacks made it north in time to be acculturated to New England mores, just as the mass of black Americans were on the verge of shedding their adopted redneck culture in the sixties and seventies, the nation's elites decided to adopt a new set of rules. A 1958 Time magazine article reported: "They are afraid to say so in public, but many of the North's big-city mayors groan in private that their biggest and most worrisome problem is the crime rate among Negroes."
Instead of punishing violence, criminality, sexual promiscuity and other charming Celtic customs-as society had with white southerners- we would protect the exact same behavior among black southerners as priceless cultural artifacts of their African heritage. That's how we ended up with the intractable black underclass.
First, liberals set to work destroying the black family. The broken family isn't a black thing. As Sowell points out, there are numerous accounts of newly freed slaves who had been separated from their wives walking across entire states, looking for their families. Economic circumstances aside, the black family unit in the immediate postslavery era was a dream compared to what Democrats have done to it today. The same was true before slavery, with African wives clinging to their husbands as they were being taken into slavery by African raiders and having to be whipped until they would let go.
Erol Ricketts, a demographer and sociologist with the Rockefeller Foundation, found that between 1890 and 1950, blacks had higher marriage rates than whites, according to the U.S. Census. Until then, black women were more likely to get married than white women-and that was despite the high mortality rates among black men, which left fewer of them available for marriage and made more black women widows. In three of four decennial years between 1890 and 1920, black men outmarried white men, with a virtual tie in 1900 at about 54 percent.
Black Americans were moving forward on a well-trod path in this country when liberals decided it would be a great idea to start subsidizing illegitimacy.
Everyone knew-even FDR's secretary of labor, Frances Perkins, knew-that granting widows' benefits to unmarried women with illegitimate children would have disastrous consequences. An early twentiethcentury social welfare advocate, Homer Folks, warned back in 1914 that to grant pensions for "desertion or illegitimacy would, undoubtedly, have the effect of a premium upon these crimes against society."
But under LBJ, that's exactly the system liberals implemented. The "suitable home" requirements for welfare-such as having a husband- were jettisoned as irrational and racist by liberal know-it-alls in the federal Bureau of Public Assistance. By 1960, only 8 percent of welfare benefits intended for widows or wives with disabled husbands were being collected by such. More than 60 percent of Aid to Families with Dependent Children payments went to "absent father" homes. As a result, illegitimacy, particularly among blacks, went through the roof.
That was the very year the black marriage rate began its precipitous decline, gradually at first, with the marriage rate for black women falling below 70 percent for the first time only in 1970. As late as that, a majority of black children were still living with both parents. As Ricketts says, "The argument that current levels of female-headed families among blacks are due directly to the cultural legacy of slavery and that black family-formation patterns are fundamentally different from those of whites are not supported by the data."
Rather, it resulted from the specific policy of paying women to have children out of wedlock-in Folks's words, putting a "premium upon these crimes against society."
By 2010, only 30.1 percent of blacks above the age of fifteen were married, compared to 52.7 percent of whites. If blacks managed to get married again at their pre-Great Society rates, the entire black "culture of poverty" would be wiped out. Black people know this: The vital importance of the institution of marriage, felt by its absence, is reflected in the overwhelming, ferocious opposition to gay marriage in the black community.
Next, liberal judges and academics decided it was a bad idea to punish criminals. Instead, they suggested we try to understand the criminal, persuade him that the system is fair and give him 157 second chances.
This was not simply a failure to implement good policies. It was an aggressive plan to impose idiotic ideas dreamed up by self-righteous people who had worked it all out on paper. In a classic decision of the era, a New York judge refused to institutionalize Joyce Brown- nom du insensé Billie Boggs-a psychotic and schizophrenic woman living on the street, who was menacing passersby, defecating on herself, smoking crack, burning money and running into traffic.
Brown's family begged that she be put in an institution, but the American Civil Liberties Union disagreed. Norman Siegel, director of the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), said Brown was merely "eccentric and different" and had "no business being taken to Bellevue." In an argument few could disagree with, her attorney, Robert Levy, said Brown was as sane as "a member of the board of the Civil Liberties Union."
Judge Robert Lippman agreed with the ACLU. He explained that "the sight of her may improve us. By being an offense to the aesthetic senses, she may spur the community to action."
Of course, the community had already been spurred to action, which was precisely why it was seeking to have her committed to a mental institution.
Ordinary people said: You think not imprisoning criminals will lead to less crime? You say that by paying women to have children out of wedlock, we'll reduce the illegitimacy rate? Are you sure that a guaranteed income will encourage people to work harder? They were ridiculed as unenlightened rubes.
Between 1960 and 1973, the number of FBI index crimes-which are serious offenses such as murder, rape, robbery, arson, assault, kidnapping and burglary-nearly tripled from 2,019,600 offenses a year to 5,891,924.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans had to die, be raped or have their property destroyed or stolen because liberals had some neat new ideas about crime. As with all of the left's social experiments, it was the people at the bottom of society who bore the brunt of jaw-dropping crime rates.
It's striking that the race riots of the sixties were nearly nonexistent in the South, the locus of earlier Democratic segregationist and Klan violence. Rather, the hotbeds of violence were all the places where liberal ideas about crime and punishment prevailed-New York, Philadelphia, Rochester (NJ), Paterson and Newark, Detroit and Los Angeles.
All the while, the entire press corps dedicated itself to clamping down on anyone who looked askance at the dysfunctional black culture that liberals had done so much to cultivate. All Americans walked on eggshells for fear of being called a racist and having their reputations ruined. The elites' ceaseless defense of behavior that would never have been tolerated from a white person destroyed lives and got people killed- most of them black.
If liberal elites had spent years designing a plan to harm blacks, they couldn't have come up with a more ingenious one. Subsidize something, and you will get more of it. Tax it and you will get less of it. Both literally and figuratively, liberals taxed good behavior and subsidized bad behavior right about the time a lot of blacks needed to go through the same hardknocks education that white southerners and Irish had.
Illegitimacy was directly subsidized through Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The "tax" on crime was largely eliminated as liberal reformers shackled the police and rewarded criminals with reduced or nonexistent prison sentences. Honest discussion about the effects of these policies, such as exploding black crime rates, racial discrimination against white college applicants, and the black illegitimacy crisis was "taxed" by the penalty of being called a racist and possibly losing one's job.
Meanwhile, the black crime, dropout and illegitimacy rates continued their ever-upward spiral. Black college students were expected to major in "Being Black," instead of subjects that might get them jobs outside of a university or a government agency.
To hide their own role in the suppression of a black middle class, liberals promoted the myth that slavery alone had produced dystopian black lives. This is the quasi-theological underpinning of the modern welfare state. But the culprit wasn't slavery: It was the seventies. Anyone who looks closely at the footage of Martin Luther King's campaign will see impeccably attired audiences in sober business clothes. These were enormous middle-class gatherings, with married parents and intact families. That ethic, that population-black lawyers, doctors, shop owners-was destroyed by malignant reformers who then papered over their dirty work with the creation of a fraudulent black middle class engineered through affirmative action and government jobs.
Slavery-a policy defended to the death by Democrats-already meant that the great mass of black Americans were starting on the ground floor. But even that other Democratic innovation, the Jim Crow laws, couldn't stop blacks from progressing in the century following emancipation. It was modern Democratic policies guaranteeing that much of black America would fall back down.
From slavery to Jim Crow to "hope and change," liberals wrote the book on how to destroy a people. Democrats simply would not treat blacks as the equal of whites, deserving of rebuke for bad behavior just like a white person. Anyone opposed to mollycoddling blacks would be denounced as a racist.
It could be called "racism by mollycoddling," except that liberals don't actually want to hurt black people. They couldn't care less about black people.
All they care about is their own glorious selves and how courageous, forward-thinking and fair-minded they are. At least the old Democratic racists were unabashed demagogues. Modern racists wrap themselves in unbounded self-righteousness.
This isn't a story about black people-it's a story about the left's agenda to patronize blacks and lie to everyone else. It wasn't black people's job to stop whites from acting like idiots. It took blubberbutts like Jim Dwyer, Anna Quindlen, Tom Wicker, Howell Raines and the Los Angeles Times to treat blacks as always right, never wrong, while self-righteously disparaging execrable, boring, rhythmless white people. Excluding their own hip selves, of course.
There was a whole industry of people that depended on the existence of racism, but Americans had not been delivering on being racists for years. By 1970, there were more child pornographers in the country than racists. So the media set about inventing them.
But no one could acknowledge that fact until the O. J. Simpson verdict.
Here we had a black celebrity, spectacularly guilty of murder but acquitted by a predominantly black jury. The verdict was wildly cheered by blacks across the nation. With those images, we were finally liberated from having to pretend America was run by the Klan. It was a watershed moment. It was the end of white guilt.
The media, politicians and academia had turned blacks into spoiled children who had never before heard the word no. After this one breathtaking miscarriage of justice, the American people said no and the White Guilt Bank was shut down overnight.
With that, America became a much healthier country. Blacks could never be brought into the culture while being so thoroughly infantilized by white liberals who oohed and aahed over every little thing they did.
The only people who had ever benefited from the left's lunacy on race were (1) professional blacks and (2) self-righteous white liberals, who congratulated themselves on their own ethnic sensitivity while moving heaven and earth to make sure their own kids didn't go to school with black kids.
In 1993, a few years before the Simpson verdict, New York Times columnist Brent Staples complained that "black prep school boys who study the classics and live within the law have found only marginal acceptance in American cultural reality." American culture, he said, preferred to celebrate the "angry black men."
After the OJ trial, "angry black men" were a lot less attractive. Talented black people were in.
Blacks were the only people, as we discovered with the OJ verdict, who cheered criminals just because they were the same race. It's one thing to complain if an innocent member of your race is falsely accused. But when the guy turns out to be guilty, it's hard to imagine any other group instantly siding with the perp because of some shared characteristic. You didn't have white people rooting for Charles Manson, gays hoping Jeffrey Dahmer would be acquitted or Hispanics supporting Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker. (Liberals rooted for Teddy Kennedy, but that's another book.)
After the OJ verdict, blacks' ferocious group identity began to weaken.
By 2007, an NPR/Pew poll showed that 53 percent of blacks said that those who couldn't get ahead were mostly responsible for their own condition, compared to 30 percent who said it was because of discrimination- a reversal of percentages from just a decade earlier. (And if NPR came up with 53 percent, just imagine how much higher the actual figure must be!)
Even black people would admit, Yeah it was a scam, but it was fun while it lasted. You can push people too far and the OJ verdict pushed racial browbeating too far, just as raising taxes too high eventually leads people to stop paying them.
Much of the change came in subtle social signals. The daily hair-on-fire racism stories, for example, virtually disappeared. No longer would pompous whites consider it a showstopper to announce at dinner parties that America is still a racist country. Appeals to white self-condemnation no longer worked. White people on TV stopped pretending that it was a hate crime every time a black person got shot. Jesse Jackson was totally sidelined. Even Al Sharpton's racial agitating no longer got front-page coverage. In fact, Sharpton's reputation dropped so precipitously that he was forced to trade in his tracksuit for some dress clothes.
The OJ verdict lost everyone except the diehards in the media and the universities-always the last to know. They'd still trot out their groundbreaking America-is-a-racist-country insights now and then, but Americans weren't buying it.
Despite mounds of incriminating evidence, the jury acquitted O. J. Simpson of a brutal double murder after only three hours of deliberation. It came back to that implacable fact.
Completely inadvertently, that verdict ended up being one of the best things that had ever happened to black America. Only with the waning influence of race hustlers and their white liberal enablers did the world discover that there were loads of competent blacks out there! Where had they been all this time?
Liberals muddled through the next twelve years, disconsolate because their claims of racism were falling flat. Can't you let us have any of our cherished illusions? Can't you let us keep being self-professed saviors to the blacks? For liberals, the OJ verdict was like telling them there was no Santa Claus.
Enter half-white, half-Kenyan Barack Obama. He was a dream come true for liberal elites: They could indulge in self-righteousness on race and get a hardcore leftie into the White House at the same time! It was too great a temptation to resist. So now we're back to liberals finding racists under every bed again.
The "postracial" president has brought racial unrest back with a whoop. Obama toys with it, but mostly he allows others to make despicable racial smears on his behalf. As the New York Times described Obama's typical campaign strategy back in 2008: "This has been [campaign manager David] Axelrod's career, an eternal return to Chicago and to the politics of race."
It's always the person with the least black heritage who is angriest at the antiracism meetings. The ones who have never actually experienced anything resembling Jim Crow-in fact nothing but white suck-uppery- the most consumed with rage about things having nothing to do with their life experiences.
Responding to tapes of his insane racist preacher, Jeremiah Wright, Obama said that we need "to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow."
Yes, let's bask in blacks' exquisite grievances against whites a little longer- just in case anyone missed Roots, Do the Right Thing, Amistad, The Color Purple, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?, Mississippi Burning, The Hurricane, Malcolm X, Monster's Ball, A Raisin in the Sun, To Kill a Mockingbird, Tuskegee Airmen, Ghosts of Mississippi, Ali, The Green Mile and every ABC after-school special ever produced (except the ones about eating disorders) as well as your entire college education and the last fifty years of the New York Times and all other mainstream media outlets issuing hysterical updates on the unending civil rights struggle. In the last two decades, the Times has run more than 250 articles about the Selma march alone. Selma happened nearly half a century ago.
Our nation's routine condescension to black racists like Reverend Wright is insulting and creates utter disaster for blacks. Wright's rhetoric encourages easy moral excuses for murder, mayhem and a total disregard for the norms of civilized society. White criminals are at least treated with enough respect to be held morally responsible for their crimes. With black criminals, liberals believe it's always the lash of racism that made them do it, and racist cops, prosecutors, witnesses and jurors who convicted them.
We have recited the civic mantra for half a century: An institution that was wiped out 150 years ago is responsible for all bad behavior of blacks. This little mental exercise has led to a world in which blacks murder, assault, rape and sell drugs at rates that stagger the imagination, yet cannot understand why the avenues of prosperity remain closed to them.
Apparently endless jawboning about black grievances is not the soothing emolument liberals imagined it would be. Can't we return to the halcyon days between the OJ verdict and the Obama campaign, when whites weren't presumed to be harboring racist fantasies and blacks weren't presumed to be children?
No, we can't. Obama is up for reelection.
Obama has repeatedly returned to the well of racial divisiveness to serve his political ends. His 2008 presidential campaign managed to revive the white guilt that had long since dissipated, and then hinted that the one path to racial reconciliation was to make him president. Only then could we stop talking about race-a conversation he had initiated in the first place.
Alas, since he's been president, that's all we talk about.
The Obama presidency has been like the David Dinkins mayoralty all over again, with utter incompetence being papered over with appeals to white guilt.
At least Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor gave us a time limit on how much longer government discrimination against white people would be legal to make up for the historical injustices: twenty-five years.
With the Democrats it never ends.
It doesn't matter that the race-baiters were proved to be lying hucksters every five minutes throughout the seventies, eighties and nineties, up until the OJ verdict. Whenever the America-is-still-racist story fell apart, the media never told us the conclusions to the story, so they feel their false alarms shouldn't count.
The non-Fox media leapt on the Trayvon Martin shooting like Ted Kennedy on a case of scotch. Following procedure, as soon as their version of events began to collapse, liberals put the story in a lead casket and dropped it to the bottom of the ocean. The nation eagerly awaits their next example of America-is-a-racist-country, which will again turn out to be a hoax. But maybe there's still time to make up a good one before November 6.
Nothing can be left to cruel chance! Liberals are gearing up for the racial mau-mauing of a lifetime. To save Obama, liberals have gone right back to their old tricks. Let's review them.