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
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
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
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.
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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