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.
Racism has 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.
You 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.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.