On April 21 of this year, in The Seattle Times, a piece appeared by syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts, pictured at right.  It is entitled "Obama's Race and the Rise of the Tea-Party Movement."  Relying upon a new poll taken by CBS News/New York Times, the columnist expounds upon this "statistical picture of the 'tea party' movement."  He points out that around 20 percent of Americans support the movement.  They tend to be white, Republican, male, over 45 and better off financially than the average person.  57 percent of them hold a favorable opinion of George W. Bush and are "angry" about the situation in Washington, D.C.

Once Pitts is convinced that he has nailed down the demographic profile of tea partyers, he draws upon a second study, this one led by Dr. Christopher Parker, pictured below, of the University of Washington's Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality.  In case you are unfamiliar with this Institute, the University of Washington explains its purpose as follows:  "The Institute . . . was created for the specific purpose of refocusing our research efforts on those segments of society who remain under-represented in the halls of power, in the boardrooms of American, and in the academy. Moreover, the inequalities in American life exist within a context of global inequality across nations, peoples and hemispheres, inequities that directly reflect those we observe at home."

Let's take a deep breath here.  The underlying assumptions of the Institute, if I understand them correctly (and I believe that I do), are (1) that there are chunks of society which are under-represented in American political, corporate, and university life and (2) that such inequities are reflective of the "global inequality" existing throughout the world. 

After one has associated with leftist academicians for a time as I have, it becomes relatively easy to unpack this kind of rhetoric. It is all about politics of course and, specifically, the implementation of an egalitarian and socialist moral standard.  It is, in short, about trying to make everyone equal.  This is the Institute's raison d'etre.  When this organization promotes a study or survey, be assured that a left-wing political agenda drives it.  So pardon me, Mr. Pitts, when I admit to you that I have no confidence in the intellectual integrity of any project to which this Institute or any of those who staff it subscribe.  I would sooner genuflect to the reasoning of the ACLU, or place a portrait of Fidel Castro in my living room, than take seriously any pronouncement from a left-wing academic propaganda center and its various "researchers."

Would any of my readers care to guess what the conclusion of the second study is to which Pitts refers?  I don't really have to tell you, do I?  You have heard it all many times before, have you not?  Well, on second thought, I believe that I'll break the news to you anyway.  Give me a drum roll please – "researchers found a significant correlation between racial resentment and tea party zeal."  The tea party movement is, yes, you guessed it:  a racist reaction to our nation's first black president.

Have you noticed that left-wing commentators do not think twice about dropping the "R-bomb" whenever it suits their political purposes to do so?  Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton play the race card constantly, and so does Keith Olbermann, the half-wit who appears on MSNBC.  All citizens are well advised to take their remote control firmly in hand and to press "channel" when one of these charlatans begins pontificating about anything.

I realize that these comments may strike some people as dismissive.  They are!  I am sick and tired of media personalities and the clowns they have coronated as experts, to whom they say we should defer, being dishonest about race.  Certainly racial relations continue to be an open wound in American society.  Race consciousness infects the national psyche.  One would have to be lobotomized not to recognize that racial tension is everywhere among us.  But whose fault is that?  Even United States Supreme Court justices have declared that, in order to remedy inequities attributed to racism, a "color-blind" policy is misguided and ineffectual.  Racial preference must, in their view, be factored into any solution of racism in order to begin addressing it.  I question, and always have, whether such a policy is not itself racist.  It boils down to "reverse discrimination" in my book, but that is hardly the point. Race is inescapable, even in our highest tribunals.

When blacks and other minorities embrace social and political advantages owing solely to the color of their skin or their ethnicity, their complaints are less than compelling when the political tables are turned. They ought to keep this in mind as Mr. Obama's poll numbers continue to drop like a rock.  Arguing for genuine justice as opposed to preferential treatment seems to be the intelligent course to follow.  Yet, as long as race baiters can squeeze an inch of political mileage out of the historical realities of slavery and Jim Crow, and manage to engender guilt and shame in the rest of us for actions of previous generations, the racial wound will always fester.  And why not?  It is in the interest of those who have carved out a niche for themselves in identity politics.

What is the bottom-line here?  Mr. Pitts and Dr. Parker are crass opportunists, who scream "racism" whenever it advances their purposes to do so.  Because they are both black, few in the media, or elsewhere, will call their hand.  That does not alter the fact that they continue to interject the subject of race to extract a political advantage.  It is as if they are telling those who are fed up with Barack Obama's policies of domestic socialism and international appeasement, "You have no moral right to be heard, because you are motivated by race."  Sure, as if they themselves are not poisoned by racial venom.  Their hackneyed arguments are like an old dog that won't hunt.  They lack vigor and stamina and are now little more than a laughingstock. 

Listen to Pitts as he attempts to hide his racial bias:  "For those of us trying to build a country that does not fear difference, a country where access to opportunity is not a function of skin color, for those of us seeking an America that will finally live out the true meaning of its creed, that battle cry of the tea partyers ['I want my country back'] says all that need be said about the differences between them and the rest of us."  What garrulous, hot-winded blather!  My response is, "Sir, what you support is not equal opportunity, but preferential treatment.  You favor not honest, but tendentious research that propagandizes the public.  You do not believe in the 'American creed' about which Gunnar Myrdal writes in his book, An American Dilemma.  No, you are the 'new' archetypical racist, masquerading as a cosmopolitan spirit.  Stop the hustle, and get a life!"

April 26, 2010