Conservative Liberal

FDR would have been a Republican today.

Feel-good racism

A couple of days ago Bookworm posted a story about kids in her daughter’s school saying that people should vote for Obama because he is black.  This started a discussion, in which I participated.  There was also a nice lady named Helen, also a blogger on WordPress.  Helen is a leftist, or, as she prefers to call herself, a Progressive.  She is very nice and polite, and generally a pleasure to disagree with.  Helen defends the Affirmative Action practices and thinks that Obama’s race is important because racism still exists.  There were others commenting on the Bookworm’s post, who disagreed with Helen and agreed with me, but still acknowledged existence of racism.  That includes Bookworm herself.  I, on the other hand, suggested that, save for few idiots on the fringes, racism does not exist in this country.  As an example of real racism I described anti-Semitism in the old Soviet Union, something I faced personally.  I also mentioned anti-Russian discrimination in many of the Soviet republics.  What Helen and others missed in my argument was that, while there are some racist idiots in this country, the discrimination in the Soviet Union came from the government.  This has not happen in this country for at least 40 years.  Ironically, the biggest reason that caused any kind of discrimination to end was something that back in high school I was told was bad about America: the so-called "cult of dollar".  But it only makes sense: if you need to hire someone for your business, you would want to hire the most qualified individual.  Ethnic, racial or religious background are usually irrelevant to the person’s ability to do the job.  There might be exceptions: if you are looking for a rabbi you will have to hire a Jew, while a pastor will have to be a Christian.  But other than that, things like that are irrelevant.

By focusing on the race, ethnicity or gender the Left prevents these irrelevant characteristics from being viewed as irrelevant.  In fact, the closest thing to government-sponsored discrimination is the Affirmative Action, so loved by the Left.  Supposedly this rights some wrong that was perpetrated over 40 years ago.  But as I commented, so I, as a Jew, was discriminated against in Odessa.  Does this fact mean that I should condone anti-Russian discrimination in Tashkent?

The Left continues with this feel-good racism.  In another post Bookworm showed the way Time magazine reported the breakdown of the Primary voters:

GOP Results

 Republicans: McCain 40, Romney 36, Huckabee 18
Evangelicals: Huckabee 33, McCain 31, Romney 30
Conservatives: Romney 42, McCain 31, Huckabee 20

Those most concerned about:

Immigration: Romney 48, McCain 25, Huckabee 15
Economy: McCain 40, Romney 32, Huck 18
Iraq: McCain 51, Romney 20, Huckabee 15

Democrats

Blacks: Obama 81, Clinton 17
Whites: Clinton 50, Obama 44
Hispanics: Clinton 62, Obama 36
White women: Clinton 57, Obama 45
Young whites: Obama 64, Clinton 35

The breakdown for Republicans is on the issues, while the breakdown for Democrats is along ethnic and gender lines.  One commenter on the Helen’s post that was the result of the comments on the Bookworm’s post was thus praising the openness of our elections to everybody:

"I find it amazing that not only are a black man and a white woman running for president, but also a minister and a medical doctor and a soldier who survived years of torture."

So, she described the Republicans by what they do and their life experience.  She described the Democrats by their racial and gender identities.  Why?  Who cares about Obama’s race and Hillary’s gender and race?  How do their identities impact their ability to the President?  Their race and gender are absolutely irrelevant to the job they might have to do (although I hope they won’t get to do that).  I will not vote for either of them, but I absolutely don’t care about Obama’s blackness or Hillary’s femininity.  I simply disagree with their ideas.  I don’t think that anything approaching Socialism is a good idea to implement.  I should know: I grew up with that.  But their identities have nothing to do with that, although their party affiliation does.

The way to end racism is just to end it.  My daughters are not capable of racism for one simple reason: they don’t know about racial differences.  Oh, sure, they have all kinds of kids in school and preschool.  But for them the racial differences are on the same level as the difference between someone with blond and brunet hair.  I’d like to keep it that way.

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February 9, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

7 Comments »

  1. […] Open Letter To Eric This is an open letter to Eric, who commented on my blog and posted further on […]

    Pingback by An Open Letter To Eric « Windows Toward the World | February 9, 2008 | Reply

  2. Dear Eric,

    To admit that the US still has racism does not feel good. But to accept your experience in the former Soviet Union as an explanation of what is and isn’t racism in the US is silly.

    Your experience is valuable to you and influence the way you think and vote, just as each person’s background affects him/her. What you describe is racism (against Jews). That racism is real. But it isn’t what happened in the US and doesn’t explain how the US can rid herself of racism.

    The US has a troubled racial past that influences it present. (see more at http://helenl.wordpress.com/2008/02/09/an-open-letter-to-eric/

    Comment by helenl | February 9, 2008 | Reply

  3. […] heated (but always polite) discussion that’s been going on in comments here about racism, and run with it. I won’t summarize or quote here what he has to say. I’ll just give you my conclusion: […]

    Pingback by Racism, sexism and political elections « Bookworm Room | February 10, 2008 | Reply

  4. […] A commenter on the mirror site of this blog expressed a disagreement with my previous post on Feel-good racism.  The comment was polite, but for some reason unsigned, which is very annoying.  Nevertheless, it […]

    Pingback by Feel-good racism - an answer to a comment « Conservative Liberal | February 18, 2008 | Reply

  5. I think that you are right, that racism simply needs to be ended, in all forms, including those advocating voting for Obama because he would be a Black (actually, biracial, president) and the fact that such an overwhelming majority of Black Americans voted for Obama shows that race is indeed still playing an inappropriate role in American politics.

    Comment by Abdul-Rahim | March 3, 2008 | Reply

  6. Very interesting and useful post.
    I add your interesting blog in my Google Reader!😉

    Comment by Shoes Repair | March 6, 2008 | Reply

  7. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

    Comment by sandrar | September 10, 2009 | Reply


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