What do the following have in common?
Barack Obama’s agenda, deficit spending, collective bargaining for public employee union members, and “wise Latina” Supreme Court nominees.
Opposition to any one of them can elicit charges of racism from the Left. Last week alone saw four egregious examples of liberals infusing race into discussions of issues that have little or nothing to do with race.
But it’s not just left-wing bloggers and MSNBC blowhards who regularly play the race card. It’s also some of the most prominent members of the Democratic Party. Barack Obama was hyped as America’s first post-racial president. But his two years in office have produced scores of examples of liberals gratuitously playing the race card. Here are the 10 most shameless.
10. Attorney General Eric Holder: Last week Holder, who is black, told a congressional committee that conservative fixation on the New Black Panthers election fraud case demeans “my people.” Two members of the New Black Panthers are accused of wielding clubs, yelling insults, and using racist language to intimidate voters outside a Philadelphia polling station on Election Day 2008. Holder made his remark during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing after the Justice Department failed to cooperate with a Civil Rights Commission investigation into the incident.
9. Budget cuts: Also last week, members of the Congressional Black Caucus lashed out at Republican efforts to control deficits, calling them “a step back for civil rights.” “It’s really especially poignant that this year during Black History Month,” said California Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee, “the Republican leadership has proposed a budget.that will fall most heavily, mind you, on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society, African-Americans, Latinos, and the poor, those who have been shut out of the American dream.”
8. Gates-gate: In summer 2009, police officers arrested Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates at his home in Cambridge, Mass. Gates had lost his keys and broken into his own home. The cops were alerted to the break-in, and upon arriving at Gates’ home demanded to see identification, whereupon Gates went ballistic, accusing the officers of racial profiling, and was eventually arrested for disorderly conduct. The case prompted numerous liberals to accuse the Cambridge police officers who arrested Gates (one of whom was black) of racism. In his first public remarks about the incident, President Obama declared that the Cambridge police had “acted stupidly.”
7. Sotomayor: Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court was assisted by threats against Republican senators that opposition to her confirmation, or even tough questioning of the nominee, would damage the GOP’s chances with Hispanic voters. The nominee was criticized for repeatedly having said that as a Latina she could come to better judicial conclusions than white males. She also said, “My experiences will affect the facts that I choose to see as a judge,” which suggests Justice Sotomayor will be playing the race card for years to come.
6. Arizona: Arizona passed a state law that requires police officers to check on the immigration status of people they have stopped “for some legitimate reason” and suspect might be in the U.S. illegally. The new law drew charges of racial profiling and racism from across the country and the world. The most shameful example came from the Obama administration, whose diplomats raised the new law as an example of “racial discrimination” in America during talks about human rights with the authoritarian Chinese regime.
5. Collective bargaining: This one would be higher on the list, but it involves Charlie Rangel, who has proven that he’s willing to say just about anything to demonize Republicans. Last year Rep. Rangel (D.-N.Y.) was censured by the House of Representatives for ethics violations. Last week he told the Congressional Black Caucus that abolishing collective bargaining rights for workers was “close to slavery.”
4. ObamaCare: Rep. Joe Wilson was roundly criticized for yelling, “You lie!” during Obama’s health care speech before Congress in 2009. The outburst came when Obama denied that his proposed health care legislation would provide free health coverage for illegal immigrants. Left-wing pundits and members of Congress immediately charged that the outburst was based not on what Obama had said but on Obama’s race. “Some people just can’t believe a black man is President and will never accept it,” New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote of Wilson.
3. The Tea Party: Many liberals allege that what really motivates the movement is not out-of-control government spending but anxiety about a black man in the Oval Office. The NAACP passed a resolution condemning the “racist elements” of the Tea Party, with no evidence that said elements exist.
2. The Tea Party and Obama: But it’s not just the once-respected civil rights group that’s made that accusation. In a new book about blacks and the presidency, Obama is quoted as saying to guests at a private White House dinner in 2010 that race was probably a key component in rising opposition to his presidency from conservatives, especially the Tea Party movement.
1. Jimmy Carter: Carter wins because of his prominence as a former American President and because of the sheer number of times he’s played the race card. For instance, in 2009 the former President told university students that the most vocal tea partiers had “a racist attitude.” He also said Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” was “based on racism,” and that “an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African-American.
Race was supposed to become irrelevant in the Age of Obama. But it hasn’t. And it’s largely because Democrats pretend to see a racist conspiracy in everything conservatives do.
It’s hard to imagine that anything will change. With a bruising reelection bid on the horizon for Obama, and with further budget cuts and a potential fight over immigration reform, I predict that we’ll continue to see the race card deployed by shameless liberals willing to exploit America’s most explosive issue for political gain.
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