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The Unrepentant Traditionalist
December 17, 2009

No Racism Here
by Frank Creel

ARLINGTON, VA — Barack Obama’s election to the presidency gave citizens at least two reasons to feel satisfaction.

First, it meant the end (or so we thought at the time) of the Bush Administration’s idiocy in how to fight the “global war on terrorism.” It turns out, alas, that our new Commander-in-Chief just brings a slightly different rhetorical slant and a substantial amount of “dithering” to the idiocy.

Second, we had reason to hope that the election of an African-American would help end the silliness of racism — the most vapid theory of human relations ever spawned by the mind of man. Vapid, but insidious. Racism is like one of Sigourney Weaver’s alien parasites, attaching itself superficially but germinating within, eventually to burst forth in horror.

It also takes a variety of forms. The easiest, perhaps, to deal with is the open, snarling, hateful bigotry of the insecure people who merge their identity with the color of their skin. In encounters with this elementary form, one merely shakes one’s head and passes by, knowing that the poor souls were probably infected by ignorant and irresponsible parents, and hoping that they will not transplant the beast into the bosoms of their children.

The most difficult to deal with is unconscious racism, which most commonly infects those who obsess over it, even with the best of intentions. John Brown thought himself chosen by God to annihilate the whites who oppressed African slaves. The liberal establishment of our own era considers itself anointed to end racism with the power of the federal government. This has led to policies devastating to black family structures and ruinous to the economic commonwealth, the patrimony of both blacks and whites.

Historians will marvel, after we are gone, that these unconscious racists actually inflicted official racism on America, christening it with the euphemism of “affirmative action.” The scriptwriters of Alien could not have concocted a more surreptitious monster.

The creature’s disgusting inner wrigglings were on display most recently when former President Carter accused President Obama’s critics of having racist motivation. The charge was ridiculous to everyone but Carter himself, who no doubt imagines that anyone who disagrees with him is biased against peanut farmers.

This is not to say that there are not still many Americans of the open, snarling racist type. It is to say, however, that it is only the unconscious racists who can espy racism in every nook and cranny of American life. They feel no embarrassment at this comical posture precisely because they are unconscious of their racism.

The healthy middle ground, I believe, is held by those who can confidently announce their opposition to the manifestly catastrophic policies of the Obama Administration. If they were actually motivated by racism, they would be snarling and spewing saliva on bystanders — or restraining their public opposition for fear that their secret racism might be exposed.

Benjamin Franklin was once described as a “lecherous old hypocrite.” Andrew Jackson said Henry Clay was the “meanest scoundrel that ever disgraced the image of God,” and predicted that John Calhoun “would die a traitor or a madman.” Harpers magazine wrote that Lincoln was a “filthy storyteller, despot, liar, thief, braggart, buffoon, usurper, monster, and ignoramus.”

Even among our Founding Fathers, suspicion, slander, and scandalmongering were so rampant that the John Adams Administration pushed through the Alien and Sedition Acts partly to defend itself from scurrilous or sometimes justified attacks. Thomas Jefferson reportedly paid one of the chief scandalmongers to attack Adams and other Federalists.

All these gentlemen were white men, wholly unaffected by racist sentiment in their dealings with one another.

If now we hear our president pilloried as the Messiah who failed, as the Teleprompter-Reader-in-Chief or as the Idiot-in-Chief — well, the unconscious racists in our midst should go down to the river, get baptized, and shout Hallelujah that a color-blind America is on the rise. Our first African-American president is now a fully fledged member of a very exclusive club.

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The Unrepentant Traditionalist is copyright © 2009 by Frank Creel and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. All rights reserved.

Frank Creel, Ph.D., a columnist and author, was an English teacher in the Peace Corps in Turkey. He is fluent in the Turkish language and in Arabic script.

See a complete biographical sketch.

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