Conservative blogs today are all out-of-joint because certain people have attacked Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, a black Republican.
The Washington Times is stirring the brew, with articles saying things like this:
Delegate Salima Siler Marriott, a black Baltimore Democrat, said Mr. Steele invites comparisons to a slave who loves his cruel master or a cookie that is black on the outside and white inside because his conservative political philosophy is, in her view, anti-black.
Now, is what Salima Marriott says "racist"? The conservative pundits are screaming "yes".
But it’s not.
"Racism" is making generalizations — usually negative, but not always — about an entire race. Let’s look at some examples:
(1) "All blacks are lazy and shiftless" is clearly racist, because it makes a negative generalization about a race.
But . . .
(2) "All blacks are good dancers" is also racist, because it makes a (postive) generalization about a race.
Now we’ll make it slightly more complicated:
(3) "Michael Jordan and Tiger Wood are probably good dancers". Again, this is racist because it rests on the assumption that all blacks are good dancers, and since Jordan and Wood are black, they too must be good dancers. It is not necessarily insulting to Jordan or Wood, but it rests on a racist assumption (see #2 above). It insults the entire race by generalizing and falsely lumping blacks together as have a common trait.
(4) "Michael Jordan is an asshole". This comment is NOT racist. Why not? Because it makes no negative generalizations about Michael Jordan’s race; it merely insults Michael Jordan (who just happens to be black).
(5) "Donny Osmond is like a slave who loves his cruel master". This comment is NOT racist. Why not? Because it makes no negative generalizations about any race. It makes no generalizations (positive or negative) about Donny Osmond’s race ("unbelievably Caucasion"). It makes no generalizations (positive or negative) about slaves’ race ("black").
Now, we return to Marriot’s comment in the quote above (and slightly edit it for demonstrative purposes):
(6) "Mr. Steele is like a slave who loves his cruel master".
This is NOT racist. This isn’t making any generalizations about an entire race. It isn’t saying that ALL blacks have a common trait. It isn’t saying that ALL blacks are like slaves who love their cruel masters. It is merely saying that Mr. Steele has those traits.
Now if #5 is NOT "racist", why should #6 be viewed as "racist"? There’s no earthly reason. The only difference in the two statements is the subject of the sentence: Donny Osmond vs. Michael Steele.
And that’s the problem with conservatives. They confuse attacking a person who happens to BE black, with attacking that person’s entire race. You know why? Because they see color, that’s why.
To them, if you criticize a conservative who happens to be white, then you are "unhinged". But attack a conservative who happens to be a minority, and you are "racist" (as well as being "unhinged").
But these people don’t know what "racism" means!!!
And I know why.
Because many of them are racists.