Monday, 19 July 2010
Well, well, well - things aren't going particularly well for the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) this week! Their accusation that the vastly popular Tea Party movement has "racist elements" has backfired spectacularly, with even Joe "Plugs" Biden throwing them under the bus.
With no real evidence to support them, the NAACP's condemnation has been shown for what it is - a partisan example of race-baiting from a group not afraid to play the race card whenever it suits their liberal needs. We have seen this plenty of times in the Obama administration, the most notable example was when Obama played the race card against the "stupid" Officer Crowley who dared to arrest Skip Gates (who was dragged away screaming racism). It turned out that Crowley was 100% right to do what he did, the President was embarrassed and had to concoct the infamous "Beer Summit."
People are sick of the race card being played, and recognise that it is against everything the Civil Rights movement stood for - that one would be judged by one's character not by one's skin colour. Therefore there has been a significant backlash against the NAACP, and the spotlight has been shone on this movement. This in turn has led to the discovery of this little clip of a speech by Shirley Sherrod (Georgia Director of Rural Development), who openly admits to discriminating against a farmer because he was white.
It isn't just that she discriminated against a farmer that is offensive - it is how she sees the world. Not only does she talk about "rich versus poor" as if they are enemies (who implicitly can't change sides), but also talks in a "them versus us" mentality about white people. So, she talks about sending the "white" farmer to a "white" lawyer as sending him "to his own kind" - those are her words.
This language is disgusting, make no mistake. It is not just "Ohh well, if a white person said it then they would be accused of racism." If a white person said this, it would be racist just as it is racist when Shirley Sherrod says it. This is genuine, real racism, and this woman should be fired and condemned by both the federal government, and by the NAACP. Yet it taps into a mentality. This isn't a blog post, this is a speech at an NAACP event that is met by applause and laughter. How many at the NAACP agree with her?
We are seeing this in Britain too. Labour leadership candidate Diane Abbott has a long history of playing the race card. She has made a big deal of being the only black candidate for Labour, talking about how people could never have imagined a black person becoming President of the USA. Therefore it shows that maybe "People can change here in Britain too." The implication is clear, Abbott doesn't get in, then it's because Britian is racist. Sound familiar America?
This baiting goes back all the way to 1996 when she expressed concern at "blonde, blue-eyed Finnish girls" who were unsuitable to be nurses as they "may have never met a black person before" and for saying that "West Indian mothers will go to the wall for the children", a comment which she has been challenged on recently by BBC's Andrew Neil - the clip is here.
It is time on both sides of the Atlantic that we fight this new form of racism. There are a lot of vested interests who have a lot to gain from keeping the race business open. Abbott for instance is a left wing nutcase with very few achievements, and must now that playing the race and female card is the only way she has a chance of a sniff at the leadership. But such behaviour by Abbott and by members of the NAACP is not just offensive, it is damaging to society. To pit people against one another, whether it be rich versus poor or black versus white is low and shameful, and it is for those of us who want to move past the issue of race to fight against such low tricks.