Apparently, the Chicago media have decided that the meme for the 2008 general election is going to be that anyone who doesn't vote for Barack Obama is a racist because this is the second editorial (that I've seen, anyway) in Chicago stating such a theory. Last week the Daily Herald voiced the assumption and this week it's the Sun-Times with the volatile Andrew Greeley taking up the cause of ridding the world of racism one Obama vote at a time.
Beginning with some meaningless banter where he throws around the names of a few Greek philosophers to sound erudite, Greeley then voices the fear that if Obama loses in November it might prove we are a racist country. "Sen. Barack Obama's victory, we are told by the cheering sections,"Greeley writes, "was a great victory for the American dream. Racism may well be in retreat... What if Obama is defeated? The whole world and most African Americans will scream 'racism!'" Greeley follows that with enough evidence for us to realize that he believes that the charge would be justified. He informs us that any vote against Obama has been thus far based on "bigotry," "racism," etc.
(My bold for emphasis)
In fact, only a little more than half of the Democratic voters chose the senator from Illinois as their candidate. Were the other voters racist? Influenced by racism? Inclined to racism, which they hide even from themselves? Surely all of these factors were at work, but it is virtually impossible with the current research technology to sort them out. Moreover, is the voter a bigot who says -- to himself or others -- "He's too young for it," "I don't know anything about him," "He's an elitist," "He's just a lot of fancy talk," "The country isn't ready for a man like that," "He's weak in his support of Israel," "He's Muslim, possibly the anti-Christ!" Are these hints of lurking prejudice? Are the voters of regular members of the Democratic coalition -- Hispanics and union members -- against Obama partly because of racism?
Slyly, he seems to be asking questions instead of answering them, positing a possibility instead of claiming it outright. Are these voters racists, he asks? This is the "question," but clearly Greeley thinks the answer is yes when he says "Surely all of these factors were at work," as well as what he gives us with his next lines.
How many of the male readers of this column who are habitues of bars, locker rooms, commuter train bull sessions, pool rooms and men's clubs have not heard the indigenous racial slurs of such environments applied to Obama?
And surely some of the explicit chatter during the campaign was racist, especially the obsession with the various clergy who mounted the pulpit of his church. By what stretch of sick logic could the candidate be responsible for what his clergy said and did?
I have one thing to say about the chatter Greeley claims is heard in "bars, locker rooms," et al. I'd suggest that he'd hear as many "racial slurs" in a certain Chicago Church that our Obamessiah recently ran from as if it were on fire. Only, the racial slurs you would hear would be aimed at "Whitey" not blacks. And, I'd dare say, we could find many, many places in this country where the racism expressed is against whites, Mexican, and Asians and would be being expressed by blacks. Despite what liberals try to fool us into believing, racism is not a thing solely perpetrated by whites against blacks.
Still, one might argue that Greeley is only asking questions. Let us put to rest this point with Greeley's liberal meme that we are all racists even if we don't seem to know it.
The point is that racism permeates American society and hides itself under many different disguises. The nomination of an African-American candidate was a near-miracle. Only the innocent and the naive think that the November election will not be about race.
The old saw that racism "permeates American society" as if we are somehow different than any other people on the planet is the favorite tactic set down in the old leftist playbook that is used to brow beat white people everywhere. If you don't act the racist or think racist thoughts, rest assured, you are a racist anyway. So says the liberal, PC mindset.
Even more ridiculously, Greeley foolishly assumes that a black person finding he is the nominee of a major American political party is a "near-miracle." Yet, we are in a day when blacks are in every section of society in leadership positions. We've had a black Secretary of State, a black security advisor and State Department head, blacks in the highest positions in business, sports and entertainment. There is no place in American society where blacks are excluded. So, why is it a "near-miracle" that a black man has been nominated for president?
Greeley is now past the asking of questions and right into the outright statement of fact from his long out-of-touch, old liberal perspective.
The odds against the replication of the primary miracle in November, even against a disgraced and discredited Republic administration, are very high.
Just a reminder, Mr. Greeley. Bush isn't running.
Race will silently trump the war, the economy, the cost of gasoline, the disgust with President Bush. One may wish that it will not be so, that if Obama loses it will not be because of the color of his skin but because the country genuinely wants another Republican administration.
And there you have it. Andrew Greeley is sure that we are all racists deep down. And, he is sure we'll prove it by voting for John McCain instead of the Obamessiah. Oh, evil America, we hardly knew ye!
(Photo credit: Reuters)