It's Hard To Be a Racist
Walter E. Williams
by Walter E. Williams: Social
Years ago it
was easy to be a racist. All you had to be was a white person using
some of the racial epithets that are routinely used in song and
everyday speech by many of today's blacks. Or you had to chant "two,
four, six, eight, we don't want to integrate" when a black student
showed up for admission to your high school or college. Of course,
there was that dressing up in a hooded white gown. In any case,
you didn't have to be sophisticated to be a racist.
Today all that
has changed. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., pointed that out back
in 1994 when the Republican-led Congress pushed for tax relief.
Rangel denounced Republicans' plan as a form of modern-day racism,
saying, "It's not 'spic' or 'nigger' anymore. (Instead,) they say,
'Let's cut taxes.'" That means the simple use of the N-word is not
enough to make one a racist. If it were, blacks would be the nation's
premier racists. Today it's the call for tax cuts that makes you
a racist. That's why the "tea" party, short for "taxed enough already,"
is nothing more than organized racists. What makes tea partyers
even more racist is their constant call for the White House and
Congress to return to the confines of the Constitution.
other guises. Say that you're a believer in Martin Luther King's
wish, expressed in his "I Have a Dream" speech, that our "children
will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the
color of their skin, but by the content of their character." The
call to judge people by the content of their character rather than
the color of their skin is really code for racism. There's no question
about one's racial antipathy if he voted for measures such as California's
Proposition 209, Michigan's Proposal 2, Washington state's Initiative
200 or Nebraska's Civil Rights Initiative 424. These measures outlaw
judging people by the color of their skin for admission to college,
awarding of government contracts and employment. The call for equal
treatment is simply racism by stealth and is far more insidious
than name-calling and hood-donning.
One might think
that seeing as America elected its first black president, it would
usher in the end of racism; but it's all a racist plot that's easily
uncovered simply by asking: "Who really elected Obama to the presidency?"
It surely wasn't black people. Of the 69 million votes that Obama
received in the 2008 election, I doubt whether even 7 or 8 million
came from blacks. That means white people put Obama in office, and
that means he is beholden to white people, not black people.
say, "Williams, that's preposterous! What's your evidence?" Just
look at the unemployment statistics. White unemployment is 8 percent,
and black unemployment is double that, at 17 percent, and in some
cities, black unemployment is near 30 percent. It's gotten so bad
under Obama's presidency that New York's Urban Justice Center has
appealed to the United Nations Human Rights Council for help. But
Obama's tired of black complaints. Obama told the Congressional
Black Caucus to "Stop whining!" "Take off your bedroom slippers;
put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining; stop
grumbling; stop crying." This kind of talk is unprecedented. Just
ask yourself: "When have I ever heard a Democratic or a Republican
leader talk this way to his party's strongest supporters? Would
Obama tell Jews to stop whining about Israel? Would he tell unions
to stop grumbling about card check? Would he tell feminists, if
they were complaining about sex discrimination, to shake it off?"
This kind of
political treatment of blacks should not be surprising, because
black people are a one-party people in a two-party system. That
means Democratic politicians have learned to take the black vote
for granted, and Republicans make little effort to get it. That's
not smart for blacks to set themselves up that way.
E. Williams is the John M. Olin distinguished professor of economics
at George Mason University, and a nationally syndicated columnist.
To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other
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