Assigned Viewing: Comrades in Arms
This video is shocking. I never would have expected to see this degree of pushback towards Professor Gates, let alone towards Barack Obama. We could be witnessing a truly historic change in the way America views race. A change for the better.
When was the last time calls of racism and racial profiling didn’t result in institutions cowering, leaders caving, and the accused being vilified in the media and reprimanded or even fired? Everyone from the governor of Massachusetts on up to the President was reading off the same script that they have had for years: instant, irrational outrage. If a black American accuses a white American of racial prejudice, the burden of proof has historically been on the white American to somehow prove they are innocent. Unless and until they can do that: they are guilty. This is what we say happen in the case of the Duke lacrosse players.
But the script has changed, and now Obama and the usual oracles of black American outrage seem suddenly irrelevant. Instead of assuming guilt or evidence based on race cooler heads calling for thoughtful analysis of the evidence before jumping to conclusions. Instead of assuming the worst, the Cambridge Police are standing by their officer. We even have the mainstream media covering the real facts of a story!
Is it possible that electing President Obama – an African-American who conspicuously brought race into the campaign – has served to nullify a lot of the racial guilt felt by Americans? During the campaign anyone who opposed Obama for any reason risked being branded instantly as a racist. A lot of older, white Americans stayed home rather than face the option of voting for someone they didn’t support and being called racists. (Not that John McCain was that exciting.) After the long and historic campaign it looks like the racial indignity cow may have been milked dry.
If you believe in racial equality through racialism – through affirmative action, quotas, wise Latinas, and other race-centric methods – then this is a giant step backwards. But if you believe in racial equality through integration – that we will all be judged solely on the content of our character – than this is a great step forward.
Electing a black man to be President of the United States of America may have created an environment where a white cop who arrested an arrogant, rich black man can be defended because the facts are on his side instead of vilified because race isn’t.
And in the end it may have created an environment where criticizing a black President based on his performance, ideology, and policies will no longer carry an automatic sentence of ostracism for racial insensitivity. We have significant evidence to believe this may lead to the real turning point in Obama’s already faltering poll numbers.