Thursday, September 20, 2007

Anyone's racism should be condemned -- even Jesse's.

Born and raised in the Chicago area I’ve had a lifetime full of the pompous, usually incoherent, rants of Jesse Jackson. This pompous windbag is typical of the political class that gave Chicago it’s nickname: the Windy City. And I bet you thought it had to do with the weather. Jackson has a history of making racist remarks. So it should be no surprise he did so again attacking Sen. Barack Obama.

Jackson, who I personally believe to be a con artist, said that Obama is “acting like he’s white.” Jackson made the remarks in a speech at Benedict College, a predominantly black school. When asked about the comments Jackson had a memory lapse and suddenly couldn’t remember that he said them. Well, that’s according to CNN.

Elsewhere Jackson said the comments were taken out of context. That would imply he knew he made the remarks. In other responses he said he didn’t make the remark which implies he remembers what he said. That is three different positions. 1) I remember what I said and I didn’t say it; 2) I don’t remember saying it; 3) I remember what I said, said it, but it is taken out context. Three contradictory positions in less than 24 hours. And that was just the beginning. In another press interview Jackson said that the phrase “acting white” is not one he uses regularly, which means he does use it sometimes, but that it doesn’t “accurately” reflect his views about Obama.

Now there has been a good deal of attention to the statement but it seems to focus on whether this was a slam at Obama. The issue, as I see it, is that this may, or may not, reflect his views of Obama, but it does reflect his views of white people.

Lost in the discussion over whether he was insulting, or slamming Obama, is the fact that the remark is inherently insulting toward whites. Jackson is no stranger to such insensitive racist remarks. For instance the shakedown king once referred to New York as Hymie Town -- an insult to Jews.

From what I can see everyone is gingerly stepping around the fact that Jackson’s remark is racially insulting to whites and focusing on whether or not it is insulting to Obama.

We have seen the argument used, that if a white person has ever used the insulting term “nigger” in any context, it is proof that the individual is racist. It may be. At best it shows them to be illiterate morons incapable of expressing themselves without resorting to gutter terminology. It may well be a strong indicator depending on context and frequency of use. Like the words “kike,” “wop,” “dago,” and so forth the word “nigger” is meant to be racially insulting. And I personally find it unacceptable.

But what does “acting white” mean? Surely this was not a compliment by Jackson. Let us change the context entirely for a second. If Mitt Romney used the phrase “acting black” about someone, as a criticism, what would happen? There would be an explosion of indignation. And rightfully so! If King George made such a remark in one of his bumbling speeches Jackson would be holding pickets, and demanding that the President apologize to him personally so he could see himself on television again.

If someone said that Senator Diane Feinstein was “acting Jewish” it would illicit condemnations regardless of whether or not it was meant as an insult to her. It would still be seen an an insult to Jews everywhere.

Racism denies individuality. It is a collectivist concept akin, in some ways, to Marx’s silly notion of class consciousness. It is the belief that one’s accidental collective affiliations trump one’s individuality. Instead of judging each person on their individual merits one lumps them into a great collective and then dismisses them, based on the perceived guilt of the group.

Certainly if similar remarks were made about anyone else or the phrase “acting black” or “acting Jewish” or “acting Arab” were used, the media would expressing moral outrage over the remark. And the outrage would be for the class of people insulted, the racial group that was denigrated by the remark.

That the focus here is only on whether this was an insult to Obama is completely different than it would be had Bush made an “acting black” comment. And there is something very wrong with that.

What is worse, in my opinion, is that this sort of silence leaves the real racists to dominate the field. The odious David Duke or the morons at Stormfront will be outraged on behalf of whites. Of course the hilarious thing about that is that these clowns are themselves advocates of the very sort of collectivist thinking.

Last June I wrote about “Pride & Prejudice” which dissected the bigoted nationalists on the Right. A semiliterate herd of white bigots had organized a tour of a museum to see art “made by white people like us.” I found this hilarious -- it was a way that these pathetic creatures could take some sort of credit for the works of others. They referred to art pieces as “some of the most amazing work done by our race.” At the time I wrote:

The great work of these artists was the result of individual effort not the work of a race or a collective. There is no collective brain. To say that this work was the work of “white people like us” is absurd. But to cover up the lack of personal ability the racist takes credit for the work of others.

By refusing to condemn Jackson’s remark for being racist, and concentrating only on the insult to Obama, the media is allowing racists a monopoly on the outrage. This allows white racists to get away with claiming that they are only standing up for whites the way Jackson would stand up blacks. Allowing Jackson to get away with such racism only makes it easier to the so-called “racialists” to do the same.

I say a pox on both their houses. I’m more interested in those who stand up for the individual regardless of their race or other such unimportant consequences of birth: gender, looks, skin color, sexual orientation, etc.

Labels: ,