They See Racists Everywhere …

So I’m reading the op-eds in the Sunday New York Times and the headline catches my eye:  “What’s Race Got to Do With It?”  I roll my eyes and say to myself, Here we go again.

The column is by Lee Siegel, an opinion writer of the liberal persuasion, whose main point is – and these are his exact words – “Mitt Romney is the whitest white man to run for president in recent memory.”

“Of course,” he says, “I’m not talking about a strict count of melanin density.  I’m referring to the countless subtle and not-so-subtle ways he telegraphs to a certain type of voter that he is the cultural alternative to America’s first black president.”

Bet you didn’t see that one coming.  Just kidding.

Romney’s “whiteness,” says Siegel, is “grounded in a retro vision of the country, one of white picket fences and stay-at-home moms and fathers unashamed of working hard for corporate America.”

Sounds good to me.  But Siegel’s not-so-subtle point is that this was also racist America.

So what’s he getting at?  Simple, that Romney offers “millions of Americans” who are unwilling to accept Mr. Obama as someone who legally and morally deserves to sit in the White House “the white solution of the problem of a black president.” He goes on to say that, “I am sure that Mr. Romney is not a racist.  But I am also sure that, for the many Americans who find the thought of a black president unbearable, he is an ideal candidate.”

Ok, so let’s review:  According to Lee Siegel, Mitt Romney is not a racist, but he appeals to millions of racists in America – because of his whiteness – and this whiteness “could well put him over the top in the fall.”

This is not political analysis.  It is something mean and shallow that is only masquerading as political analysis.  Are there racists in a country of some 310 million people?  Unfortunately, yes.  Do some of these bigots like Romney because he’s white and Mr. Obama is black?  Probably.  But in a big country like ours there are also black racists who also see things through a prism of color.  That’s not Barack Obama’s fault; and the white racists aren’t Mitt Romney’s fault.

It’s true that Siegel never blames Romney for the racists out there.  But like a drive-by gangster he sprays his bullets recklessly.  After all, what are we to think of a white man who appeals to bigots?

A few weeks ago, Andrew Rosenthal, the paper’s editorial page editor, published a blog about white racism in America, or at least his view of it, saying that, “There has been a racist undertone to many of the Republican attacks leveled against President Obama for the last three years, and in this dawning presidential campaign.”

He even goes further than Siegel and accuses Romney of “oblique” racism because Romney has said that president Obama wants to create an “entitlement society.”

So merely saying that the president believes in big government, with its many programs that “spread the wealth around”  – which strikes me as nothing more than a run-of-the-mill political accusation – somehow, in the liberal mind, is racist.

My friend Bill O’Reilly believes these people are saying these inane things in order to energize the black vote.  I don’t think so.  I think they’re saying these inane things because a) they honestly believe that conservatives have bigotry running through their DNA and b) these pundits, despite their SAT scores, are not very smart people.

They fancy themselves progressives, but they haven’t progressed at all from the bad old days of segregation and Jim Crow.  They still live in 1955 America.  They see racism everywhere.  In a strange and sad way, this warped view of America makes them feel better about themselves.  They’re the good ones, they can tell themselves.  The ones who aren’t racists.

And I’m starting to think that the liberal nonsense that dresses itself up as analysis is the face of a growing fear among the liberal elite.  Fear that their messiah may fall.  They could never accept that he may be rejected because of his policies or because of incompetence.  That would be too painful, given how much of their own hopes and dreams they have invested in him.  It must be something else.  And what else could it be, except for racism?

Inside their comfy, liberal elite bubble, the only reason the great Barack Obama could lose is because of the rampant bigotry in America.  It’s nonsense, for sure.  But it’s a lot easier for them to take than reality.

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  • joe

    The author is confused as to what racism is
    It is not about making a joke about groups of people.
    It is about advocting violence or discrimination against a group of people

    So when Goldberg advocates that we attack several muslim majority nations on a consistant basis…that’s a sign of racism



  • Joe N

    Racist ? What would you call millions of African Americans who live in abject poverty and will vote 100% in favor of a man that has done absolutely nothing for them but happens to be African American ?



  • Brian

    Funny how Siegel did not say that Al Sharpton was the most ghetto or the Blackest candidate when he ran in 2004. Lol.

    And I agree. The double standard is getting old and the double standard actually feeds a lot of hate and turns people into bigots who once were not bigoted. So does fear of losing one’s safety or freedom of speech.

    Imus has a slip of the tongue and Rush Limbaugh (though extreme on some issues) states his personal opinion about McNabb years ago.

    But are Imus and Rush actually threatening anyone? No.
    Meanwhile, Samir Shabazz of the NBP’s is threatening people will baseball bats and flash mobs at state fairs are targeting Whites because they stand out. If these were the other way, these would be hate crimes and get media attention.

    Many Blacks, celebrities, and White college kids, who normally do not follow politics, voted for Obama just to see history made. Not all did. But many did. Isn’t that kind of racist in a way?

    It should also be mentioned that many Black leaders like Farrkhan, Jesse, Al, and Cynthia McKinney are very anti-Semitic. So again, this makes me wonder why so many prominent Jewish media analysts turn a blind eye on this.

  • Carly

    I am ashamed to admit that I did not register to vote until 2009. I’m 53 years old.
    When I saw how destructive the policies of Obama had become to this country, I had no choice but to register.
    I’ve seen this country go from bad to worse and it scares me. I don’t want my children to grow up in the kind of world that Obama is projecting.
    I will vote for Newt Gingrich because he is fearless! He has great vision for this country no matter how much liberals try to twist it.
    And as far as his baggage is concerned, who cares? I want somebody with political experience to move this country forward.

  • Ward Roberts

    Just think, if Newt Ginrich become President, Callista Gingrich will be the first lady. Newt asked God to forgive him, I hope she has asked God to forgive her. If there’s a swingers party at the White House when they take over, I am going and will ask God and my wife to forgive me!
    Can’t waite for the General Election!

  • Rob G.

    Mr. Goldberg,

    You hit the nail on the head… with a 10 pound sledge. Bravo.

  • Shirl

    Every good American wants to be proud of their presiden, even if they didn’t vote for him or her, but the first red flag for Obama was when he said he wanted to fundamentally change America and it hasn’t stopped there. He is hell-bent on doing just that; against the will of the people. His unwillingness to serve all Americans has been his undoing with his ill-conceived policies; not the color of his skin.

    • Rob G.

      Such clarity in your summary of the president. It is that which you cite, serving all americans, which is the core problem or fault of his presidency.

  • cmacrider

    Bernie: I haven’t the foggiest idea as to why you give legitimacy to the “race card” by taking umbrage with the comments of some dimwit liberal reporter. It seems obvious that since Obama cannot possibly run on his record …. their only recourse is to attempt to make race an issue. The question is why are you allowing the Democrats to frame the debate?

    As a Canadian observer of American politics since the days of Eisenhower allow me to make some elementary observations: (1) America does not have a monopoly on racial bigotry but they can rightfully claim they have made great strides to develop a more enlightened society than existed prior to 1960. (2) The election issues are the debt, unemployment, the economy, decline in American prestige on the world stage, burdensome regulations which are suppressing the economy and suffocating America’s competitive advantage. On these matters the Democratic/Obama record is bordering on negligence. Therefore their only solution is to attempt to create the illusion that there is a race problem. Since by any objective standards this is not an issue in America in 2012 any more than bigotry is in any other country …. why give them credence by even writing about them???

    • joe from louisiana

      cmacrider: I can elaborate on why you should give credence to this tripe. Because many of the so-called progressives in this country perceive themselves as beacons of righteousness on racial matters. As Bernie stated, many are seemingly intelligent people with degreed backgrounds and yet their elitist attitudes are the very seeds of bigotry. They speak for the South(they’ll never elect a Mormon…) prior to elections even though many don’t have clue of the subtleties of race relations in the South. I take umbrage with people that know how I feel and why I vote for a candidate. Yet their own daily life has very little interaction with people different than themselves. SAT scores do not translate into common sense or logical acumen. Olbermann comes to mind. Perfect SAT score and yet a borderline dullard. Go figure.

  • Drew Page

    What else can the liberals do in the upcoming election but to try and villianize any and all challangers to Obama? They sure can’t run on his record. The real unemployment percentage is closer to 18% than to 9%. The national debt is in excess of $15 trillion and Obama wants to increase it even more. Gasoline prices have bounced back and forth between $3.50 and $4.00 a gallon over the past year and are predicted to increase another dollar a gallon by the summer of 2012. There are 46 million people on food stamps, more than at any other time since the program began. There have been more home foreclosures during Obama’s administration than at any time since the Depression. Obama calls for independence from foreign oil and says he wants to create jobs, yet he refuses to allow any new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico or Alaska, but he refuses to allow the Keystone pipeline to run from Canada into the U.S. that would create 20,000 jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. He talks about wanting to spend tax money to rebuild America’s infrastructure and create jobs, yet stands by as California and New York hire Chinese contractors and Chinese labor to rebuild multi-billion dollar bridge projects.

    Anyone who has a problem with all this will most certainly be branded a racist by the liberals.



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  • EddieD_Boston

    I wonder if the Siegel has any clue that Obama isn’t African-American. He’s half American Caucasian and half African Black. But he’s NOT African-American. He’s as removed from “the struggle” as Romney is. I honestly don’t think this is refutable.
    Did Obama experience racism? I doubt he did while attending his private school in Hawaii.
    Amazing liberals are so clueless. Affirmative action was put into place to remedy discrimination AAs suffered over generations. But they accept someone like Obama who isn’t from that culture. And they pat themselves on the back as they celebrate diversity. Amazingly stupid. And foolish. And pathetic.

    • EddieD_Boston

      Oops…I meant Ivy League Universities accept AAs….

      Also…Siegel…not…the Siegel…

      Also…Amazing that liberals are so clueless…

      Tough day…..

    • Bob Hadley

      For those who prefer that terminology, President Obama is African -American or, if you want to be precise, half African-American. His Dad was African and President Obama has always been American.

      You’re probably correct that he never experienced any substantial racial bigotry or racial discrimination in Hawaii. And yes, he was lucky to attend a very prestigous and rigorous prep school. But, he obviously had real challenges in his childhood that Romney did not have.

    • Bob Hadley

      You also seem to imply that President Obama was admitted to Harvard Law School via affirmative action. We don’t know that, but it is possible.

      Let’s say for a moment that Obama did not really “earn” his admission to HLS. We know, however, that he excelled at Harvard Law School on merit.

      You get admitted to Harvard Law Review by having grades at the top of your class after your first year at Harvard Law School. Since grading is blind for substantive courses (professors only have exam ID #s that are assigned before each exam period), we know he earned his grades.

      In addition, Obama graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude. Do you know where that puts him in his class? That’s at least as impressive as Charles Krauthammer attending Harvard Medical School. :)

      But the real question is, SO WHAT?

      • EddieD_Boston

        I don’t agree with everything you stated here. I don’t remember hearing Obama ever released his college records.
        The joke here in Boston is the hardest part about Harvard is getting in (b/c Harvards need to be seen as diverse top of their class students from here have a very small chance of being accepted. All things being equal, you’d have an easier time getting in if you’re from Montana or Uganda).
        Everyone gets an A at Harvard and there has been controversy surrounding this fact.
        Also, African-Americans are decendants of slaves. Obama isn’t. As I stated, he isn’t a product of that travesty like say Mrs. Obama is.
        Plus, anybody who thinks “green jobs” are going to turn our economy around is as dumb as a tree stump.

        • Bob Hadley

          “Everyone” at Harvard Law School does not get an A – HLS is different from Harvard College, where there is much more grade inflation. The average grade is a B at HLS, but there is typically stiff competition for A’s, especially during your first year. And I’ll give you a hint: few grades are meted out below a B.

          Although we don’t have President Obama’s HLS transcript, we do know that he was admitted to Harvard Law Review and that he graduated magna cum laude.

          Once again, you don’t get these coveted honors without earning top grades and graduating at the very top of your class.

          And once again, I don’t think any of this is pertinent to his job or capability as POTUS, but let’s be honest.

          If you want to call Obama stupid and a fool, as you so liberally do, knock yourself out. But to knock yourself out trying to make a case that we don’t know if he excelled at Harvard Law School is ignorant.

          I’m well aware that Obama is not a descendant of slaves. I agree with that part of your post. But so what? As far as I know, there is nothing about being African-American that implies descendancy from slaves.

          • EddieD_Boston

            His old man was supposedly brilliant and Obama does have his genes. But stupid is as stupid does.

      • hang all the traitors

        There is no question that Obama applied for and received financial aid as a foreign student at Occidental College.

    • Drew Page

      Gingrich never said that only blacks are on food stamps. Gingrich never said that all black kids lacked a work ethic and he never said that only black kids should be hired by their schools as janitors. Gengrich never said that only blacks and/or Mexicans should have to present a picture ID card in order to vote. Juan Williams inferred these things from what Gingrich did say and decided to go after Newt about it. It was obvious from Williams’ line of questioning that he felt Gingrich’s comments were demeaning to all blacks. Williams’ position on South Carolina’s requiring all voters to present a picture ID card in order to vote was also quite apparent, citing South Carolina’s past history of violating the voting rights of blacks. Not satisfied with Gingrich’s responses to his questions, which were posed as thinly veiled accusations of racial ‘insensitivity’, he kept rephrasing the question until the audience got sick of it and started booing him and rallying behind Newt’s responses. Now, of course, Williams is the injured party and the victim of Newt’s insensitivity and the South Carolina audience’s obvious biggotry.

      It’s not the color of your skin they were booing Juan, it was the thinness of it.

  • Paul Courtney

    Bernie: Wonder if Mr. Siegel wrote this column three yrs ago (leaving the name blank until now) in the early halcyon days of the “post racial era”. And he would call Herman Cain the “whitest” candidate, if that’s the way the chips fell. Some racists voted against Obama because he’s dark-skinned, and some blacks voted for him because he’s black, but he won because many more whites voted for him, whatever the reason. I’ll say the biggest reason by far (economic collapse) had no racial element at all, and he’ll be voted out for the same reason. If you tell Mr. Siegel that he’s unnecessarily adding fuel to the fire of racial strife (which ceased to exist in Nov. ’08), he’ll buy gasoline.

  • Kathie Ampela

    According to Lee Siegel, Mitt Romney isn’t a racist, he’s just the racist’s candidate..and that’s acceptable language, nothing offensive about that at all, right?

    In 2008, progressives ate the Democratic party and THAT’s why I did not vote for Obama. Not the progressives of Theodore Roosevelt’s era (as Obama tried to compare himself with recently), but the Henry Wallace progressives of 1948. You ask, would it be possible to “move to the center” from this vantage point, I don’t believe it is and that’s why I’m not voting for Obama. Mitt Romney may be a Republican progressive as Glenn Beck is fond of saying but he’s not the Wallace progressive that scares the hell out of me.

    Offensive and insenstive language are a two way street…black conservatives are subjected to the most vile attacks. Where’s the outrage? Allen West said recently that if asked to be on the GOP ticket he would step up to the plate. One can only imagine what language would be used by the Left in that scenario.

  • Randy

    I keep trying to think of the “conservative” corollary to this liberal pile of nonsense.

    Maybe it would be something like…

    Mr. Obama is just not black enough to be the real first “black” President…


    Mr. Obama could never let the poor down since he’s so black…


    If only Mr. Obama were less of a black man he could understand the feelings of the white man…

    Or something to that effect.

    Of course, anyone who made such a color based argument would immediately be tried and summarily convicted of being a racist in the kangaroo court of public opinion.

  • John

    This isn’t about racism but rather communism. This is a wedge that communists use to divide their opposition. They’ve taken over the media and the schools. Segal is just one of their useful idiots–he’s been programmed through his liberal education but he doesn’t even realize it. Communism won the Cold War, but America is so screwed up that it still hasn’t realized this fact.

    • The Fault Lies in FDR

      Communism lost the Cold War, but Socialism triumphed in America even before the first hint of tension between us and the Russians.

  • Chris Eggert

    The election of Barack Obama has set race relations back 20 years. Those labeling anyone who differ with the Democratic party or the president as being racist could very well be circumventing the possibility of electing a person of color again just to avoid the “racist” problems. This did not have to happen. BO and his administration could have united us, but chose to divide us instead.

  • Shane

    Yes, some on the Left do believe that white conservatives are racists, bigots, Nazis, homophobes, Islamophobes, xenophobes, etc. Yet, most are smart enough to know that there are just as many racists among minorities as there are in the white race. Liberals do resort to the despicable tactic of slandering and libeling conservatives very frequently.
    I would like someone from the liberal MSM to call the Nation of Islam a black supremacist group that teaches hatred of whites and Jews. That won’t happen as liberals want to keep alive the myth that only whites can be racists. And, yes, this does mean that Muhammad Ali, a member of the Nation of Islam, whom the media is praising on his 70th birthday, is a black supremacist.

  • Jeff

    I notice the word “black” being used here often.
    Didn’t Santorum get blasted for being a racist for allegedly using this bad word lately? Racists!
    I believe all humans with dark shades of skin must now be called African Americans no matter where they come from. Get with it.

  • robin in fl

    I have never remembered in my life time race being such an issue as it is now..(perhaps it was in the 60’s but I was too young to even care about race back then)..I thought race was suppose to be a NON issue after Obama came to be fact it’s the EVERYTHING is race related..and as I’ve said quite a few times..Isn’t Obama half white?? so how does he become a black man if he is also half white???

    every time I heaar the word ‘race ‘ now ,my head feels like it is going to EXPLODE..I want to yell ENOUGH ALREADY at those types that throw the word racist around just because I don’t agree with Obama .

    it’s as if they are trying to tell me some people are just ‘too white’ and that is a BAD thing..yea ok…if Romney is too white,then Obama is too black..oh no..wait a second,by saying that about Obama I am a racist,BUT it was ok that I said that about Romney..*shakes my head and rolls my eyes*

    good article Bernie :)

    • Ken Hansen

      Obama is only half-black – I believe he wrote in one of his autobiographies that he ‘choose’ to live as a black man…

  • Brendan Horn

    Lee Siegel and those like him are the true racists in politics today. Everyone with a brain knows that the KKK are loaded with crazed crackpots and so no one pays much interest to them anymore. Racists like Siegel, however, are paid to be racists and are given credibility by major newspapers.

    Liberals decry racism, yet they inherently believe it is okay to be racist against white people. There will be thousands of references to the whiteness of Romney and the whiteness of those who support him. This is, of course, racist. There will be very few liberal journalists condemning this form of racism. Anyone referring to Obama as the “blackest of black” candidates would rightly be fired, but calling Romney “the whitest of white candidates” is somehow considered okay by liberals. Racism is wrong. This means it is wrong when it exists against any race. I do not have any hope that many liberals will learn this anytime soon, as their success in elections depends on keeping racism alive.

  • daniel buckley

    Is this the game plan?How weak.These blowhards will be out of gas,out of hot air,and out of power after the 2012 elections.The racists will vote this bungling Chicago thug out of office.Oh wait,that will mean we are a racist country,even though we elected him 4 years ago,duh,this is liberal thinking at it’s best.

  • Ken Hansen

    @Douglas – Richard Nixon won 32% of the black vote in 1960 – I’m pretty sure he was a Republican.

  • Ken Hansen

    Yeah, John Kerry & Al Gore were much more ‘urban’ than Romney.

    Oh, and let’s not forget Hillary Clinton (she grew up in the whitest part of Illinois & went to Wellsley Colkege), Howard Dean (from the monoculture that is Vermont), and of course, Joe Biden (a walking/talking caricature of all things Caucasian) …

    Sorry, those first paragraphs got me riled up – I’m gonna go back and read the rest of the piece now…

  • Fred Pasek

    Defining how white Romeny is by the parameters laid out is just as ignorant as determining how black a man is by whether or not he likes fried chicken, water mellon, rap, etc…It’s stupid. It’s meant to deflect from the message the Republicans need to stay on, the debt, unemployment, the growing powers and breadth of the federal government etc…

    We can’t get caught up in these idiotic arguments, because, when we do, we play their game the way they want to play it. Besides, it doesn’t matter. You’re not gonna get more than 5% of the black vote anyway. So let them scream this crap, and scream back about how much Obama is spending. It doesn’t make for much of a debate, but each side will make it’s point, and only one resonates with those who’ve lost their jobs, haven’t had a raise in years, lost their homes, and independents who fear they’re next.

  • Douglas

    There are several insightful points in this article and the comment thread, unfortunately some of them point directly towards ignorance. Mr. Goldberg selects one column (not article) and then attempts to redirect the point of the author. According Mr. Goldberg’s factual presentation, the op-ed columnist (Siegel) is identifying Mitt Romney as the whitest of 5 remaining white candidates. (I don’t know what scale or criteria determine this but its one man’s opinion). Siegel proceeds to argue that Mitt’s whiteness is comforting to those bothered by Obama’s blackness. At this point I don’t see a problem with the logic or the opinion, and if you read Mr. Goldberg’s writing – he acknowledges this. He then attempts to assume the motivation of columnist Siegel by calling the piece mean spirited. Even more strange is a brief foray into another column to hand select 2 sentences and attempt to treat them as obvious tripe.
    Here’s the crux, Mr. Goldberg acknowledges that there are racists in America. While no numbers or percentages are mentioned he glosses right past this to argue that the liberal connection of conservative to racist is all made up. If there are racist, as acknowledged, then what ideology would they espouse? I find it most entertaining that after reading an article where zero facts are cited to refute this liberal slant commenters proceed to rant, some in explicitly racist language, about liberals and apparently inept minorities. Since facts are apparently missing I will cite a few just to point towards the basis for this republican-racist accusation.
    1) Words have connotations and denotations, as DOOM161 so astutely points out President Obama is not the first free spending, big government politician. To wit I would point out that previous Democratic presidents were labeled “big-government” not entitlement presidents. Strangely the connotation of entitlement is worse than “big-government” and does evoke racist imagery since republican candidates started trying to label minorities as entitlement recipients.
    2)1955 was not the last time Republicans proposed and acted in a manner grossly detrimental to minorities especially African-Americans.
    –a) 1964, 1966, 1968 – Opposition to all the civil rights bills was a plank to the republican platform.
    –b) throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s republican’s routinely devalued the accomplishments of any African-American as “Affirmative Action” and the republican party is still trying to repeal hate crime, affirmative action, and many other pro-minority legislation.
    –c) Several of the Republican party’s current objectives or policy goals hold demonstrably more negative consequences for minorities than for White Americans.

    Here’s the hypocrisy, the policies are written, published, and widely discussed. If you believe the policies are best for the country then you should support them but you can’t lie about them being bad for minorities. If you believe the Republican Party doesn’t have a race problem then ask yourself why Herman Cain fell from the leader boards over rumors of affairs while Newt Gingrich gets a free pass on proven infidelity? Why is it that the top candidate grew up believing that blacks were only worthy of serving in Heaven and had been struck black because of their sins? Why is it that Rick Perry has a ranch (you know about the ranch)? Why is it that Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have attacked the President over “food-stamps” and suggested that black people are too lazy to look for jobs?

    Feel free to believe what you like but I call it as I see it and I’ve been to Republican Party conventions there is no black leadership. If you have no black leadership then you can’t possibly consider or reflect the best policies for black people unless you believe that a White person knows what’s best for the minorities in this country.

    • ATT

      You just trampled all over MLK’s message with one post. I thought Americans were supposed to be color blind and we were all the same. I guess not. According to you, black people are different…Most ignorant post I’ve ever read in my life.

      • Steve Angers

        That’s a little harsh, ATT. Douglas missed the mark with some of his observations, used a number of examples that are very hard to quantify, and cherry-picked facts for some of his arguments. Essentially, what he did was much of what he accused Bernie of doing. But the “most ignorant post (you’ve) ever read”? You really should be much better read before you start making such harsh judgments about others. Sadly, there are sites where many posters make Douglas look well-informed and brilliant by comparison.

    • Jay Thompson

      An interesting analysis and viewpoint. But, alas, you have a few problems as well: some rhetorical, some historical, and some just plain bias like the rest of us.

      Your citing of three seminal dates of ’66, ’68, and ’68 is the basis for a glaring non sequitur argument, one that does not follow from its antecedent assertion. The fact that you fail to mention? Were it not for Republicans, the 1965 Act in question would have never been passed; as well, you fail to mention the FACT that many democrats OPPOSED its passage. Rhetorically, you sideswipe Republicans in haste, concluding after the fact that they demonstrated racist leanings. A ridiculous sleight of hand some of us readily catch.
      As well, all your points enumerated 1), 2) and a), b), and c) are, in total, simply opinions based upon partial facts, amplified by your own bias in order to “interpret” them for us. A nice strategy, one you accuse Republicans of here, but in reality, a strategy ALL politicians and “commenters” routinely employ.

      As for “no Black leadership” in the Republican party, you conflate “then” and “now.” You jump from the 70s and 80s and draw a present tense conclusion which, for starters, ignores the fact that there is NOW significant black leadership within the GOP’s ranks. You may not like them, or as Condoleeza Rice alluded to a few weeks ago, HOW they choose to be black, or “how black” they are (citing the left’s rather racist take upon, well, racism), but the leadership IS there and it is disingenuous of you to assert otherwise. Just one of several historical gaffes you make.
      Additionally, you cite not one, count ’em, not one “objective” or “policy goal” that actually does a disservice to minorities. You don’t, because you cannot. That would reveal your bias devoid of actual facts.
      So at the least, acknowledge that we all engage in what you portray as only a GOP problem, when in fact, it is an everybody problem.

      By the way, you make no mention of why it is that the GOP will only receive “5%” of the African-American vote – they have been anesthetized for about 130 years to be complicit on the democratic plantation in exchange for inner city housing projects, and various and sundry other “incentives” to keep them in the hip pocket of voter support. And you surely know that this is in at least some measure, the truth.

    • Steve Angers

      That’s an interesting argument, Douglas. I don’t have the time to respond fully to your comments now (if you haven’t seen many of my posts, believe me, you should thank me) – it’s a bit of a busy day – but I hope to have time to write more later.

      I do want to address a couple of points you made in the heart of your post. First, your contention that the shift in Republican language from “big-government” to “entitlement” is racist doesn’t necessarily make sense. There are many other explanations for the change in language. This use hardly demonstrates racism unless you start from the position that Republicans are inherently racist, and that every nuance of language or behavior is interpreted from that assumption.

      You’re welcome to try to prove that point, but I certainly don’t accept that now. I know far too many people of strong Republican sentiment who are not racist, would never treat another (or think of them) negatively on the basis of race, and who strive to be fair to all people. In fact, I don’t know any Republican that I would describe as racist, although a few may be guilty of some ignorance about race and race-related issues.

      Racism isn’t original sin. And all Republicans aren’t guilty of racism until they’ve been washed clean in the blood of the lamb (or whatever symbolism the Left would care to use). There’s a big difference between true racism and minor ignorance or insensitivity. The Left does great harm to the cause of racial equality in American life by lumping all “offenders” in the same category, and damning all to the same dire fate.

      There are too many other reasons for the Republican shift in language to blindly accept the racism explanation. Entitlement abuse is part of the ongoing Republican meme about bloated and wasteful government, and this is where the Republican use gets closest to racism for the truly conspiracy-minded. But entitlement has become a dirty word in Republican culture for reasons that have nothing to do with racism. The concept of entitlement goes against Republican principles of hard work and avoiding dependence on others. Republicans believe that we should help ourselves, and help each other when the need is great. We don’t believe that we are “entitled” to help from anyone. And we don’t believe that anyone else is entitled to help from us. We choose to help because we are fair and decent people.

      The shift in language is simply a reflection of what is happening elsewhere in American life. Entitlement has become a very common term in government culture. It’s not unusual for others to pick up that language. Please don’t condemn others for using the same language that the big government folks use all the time, even if our use of the term implies criticism of the principle.

      Finally- and here’s what I think is the dirty little secret of the Republican Party in this choice of language- the term “entitlement” helps foster a sense of “us versus them”, but that’s not a racist conflict. I believe the Republicans are talking about entitlements and entitlement culture as their own stealth entry into the class warfare conflict. And if you want to interpret that as race-baiting, please reference my earlier remarks in this post. It’s no such thing. It’s a completely color-blind attempt on the part of the Republican Party to paint the Democrats as the party that favors those who are taking our tax dollars and giving little back to society, in the same sense that the Democrat Party is trying to paint Republicans as the party that favors the filthy rich who are stealing our labor and ideas (and just plain stealing) while giving little back to us. Both sides are attempting to win over the middle class with appeals to class fear and envy. Again, if you want to interpret it as racism, see above. I won’t put up with that.

      The Republican opposition to the Civil Rights agenda in 1964 was likely a combination of politics and principles (I can’t speak to this directly as I was a bit young at the time and wasn’t paying much attention). The politics would have been about opposing the initiatives of the Democrat President and Party. The principles are a little murkier to me, but were probably tied into the conservative Goldwater’s sentiments about a large and activist central government. But there’s nothing that I know about this period that would suggest that fostering racist sentiment was a Republican policy or electoral strategy.

      Had this opposition to Civil Rights initiatives first emerged in a 1980 platform plank, when Republicans had started to adopt a clear Southern electoral strategy, you might have an argument. But this plank emerged in 1964, when racism was the province of conservative Southern Democrats and liberal Boston Democrats (to pick on one northern city). Much of the Republican base was isolated from severe racial tensions. It seems pretty clear to me that opposition was based on principle and politics, not an appeal to racist sentiments.

      Your contention that Republicans devalued minority contributions in the 1970s and 1980s as “affirmative action” doesn’t fit my recollections of the period. Republicans did have a philosophical disagreement with affirmative action programs, and they did question advancement of minorities who gained their advancement as a result of legal mandates as opposed to ability, but I don’t recall much dismissal of actual social contributions by minorities.

      Ongoing Republican efforts to repeal hate crime, affirmative action and “pro-minority” legislation is more the product of philosophy than racism. Republicans believe, as a matter of principle, in pro-people legislation. Government attempts whose sole purpose is to advance one group over another generally cut against the Republican grain. I understand that this area of your argument is open to much interpretation and nuanced understanding, but I don’t agree with your default assumption that this is proof of racism.

      To your contention that current Republican policies and initiatives today hold more negative consequences for minorities than whites, I would suggest offering some specifics. It’s hard to argue against such a general point. Possible reasons for these policies are philosophical, having nothing to do with racism, or involve general opposition to Democrat policies and initiatives. It’s hard to argue racism when a policy or principle is merely opposing a Democrat policy that is providing favoritism to a minority group. If the Democrats propose that all Americans pay to provide a free car to all minorities and the Republicans say no; that ain’t racism, that’s just reasonable opposition to bad policy. So let’s try a few specifics if you’d like to continue this discussion.

      That’s going to have to do it for now. I’ve gone well over the time I have available, and I’ve certainly tried Bernie’s patience by such patent abuse of the forum that he graciously provides. But thank you for your post, Douglas, and for taking the time to consider my response. I hope we might continue to exchange ideas, either here or elsewhere in this forum. Dialogue should help to break down barriers and foster greater understanding, even if it rarely leads to complete agreement.

      • Glen Stambaugh

        Steve, some restraint please. I did not read your post due to its enormity. I’m sure I missed out on what could have been some great pithy points.


        • Steve Angers

          I appreciate the criticism, Glen. Sadly, I do have a little trouble restraining myself. Part of that is being very thorough by nature. Part of it, in this case, was the nature of the post to which I was responding. A broad accusation that the Republican Party frequently engages in race baiting seemed, at least to me, to require a comprehensive response to the accusation and to the points offered in support. And that led to the monstrosity posted above.

          I know that the length of some of my posts means many won’t bother to read them, and I can accept that as a trade-off for a thorough expression of my ideas. However, it does bother me to take such advantage of the forum that Bernie is providing, or to perhaps be detracting from the attention given to posts that follow mine. I should try harder to be less selfish.

          Since I do have a few other projects that could use some attention, I’ll focus on them and give you all a break for a while. Apologies to anyone who has been offended by my self-indulgence.

    • Ron Kean

      A good and heart felt opinion.

      But where do we go now. How does any group or person escape the accusation? Do we advertise the times we did our part to help the Black cause? How much is enough? How many people need to join the fight for equal rights in how many places with how many objectives? Is there an answer?

      I think there is no escape. ‘Enough’ is totally subjective and will always be doubted. The Left will always use racism as a club to try and beat the Right as we watch many Leftist programs hurt Blacks in many ways.

      I think the more Black men and White men dress like Barak Obama, the more they will succeed. The Ivy League look goes a long way in business.

      Newt’s confessed and says he’s repented. But if he gets the nomination, I fear he’ll be toast. When conservatives vote against most domestic spending programs, they’ll always be accused of wanting to impede the enrichment and advancement of Blacks when many of us think those law makers are making consistent and hopefully reasonable decisions.

    • Paul Courtney

      So, Doug, we need to put a number to it? OK, there are 3 million racists in America today. Coincidentally, the same number of jobs saved or created by the largest spending bill in post-racial american history. Aren’t numbers fun? In your mind, “big gov’t” is OK, but “entitlement”= black, and we’re the racists?! If black leadership is the indicator, then the post-racial era began when M. Steele was elected to lead Rs, right? Or did you not see that call?

    • EddieD_Boston

      I was a kid but from what I understand Johnson passed civil rights legislation with help of republicans. Southern democrats fought tooth and nail against it. So Douglas, your post is beyond stupid.

  • Blakely1

    My favorite Billboard:

    ” If you voted for Obama in 2008, to prove that you are not a racist,
    Please vote for someone else in 2012,to prove that you are not an idiot.”

    • EddieD_Boston


  • Bill Hurdle

    If you accept the premise that the liberal’s belief/claims of inherent racism in conservatives is genuine, you also have to accept that they have made judgements regarding the motivations of conservatives. Is this not just as offensive, biased, judgemental and bigoted as the racism they ascribe to conservatives?

  • Jeffreydan

    Simple response you can give a liberal who plays the race card again:

    “Do you really think I’d suddenly support socialized medicine and massive deficit spending if John Edwards were in the White House?”

  • Jim Austin

    Liberals want to turn every issue into replays of the civil rights movement.

    The reason is really quite simple. The last time liberals were involved in anything truly righteous was during the civil rights movement.

    Liberal partisans of the Civil Rights movement directly confront racists, exposing their evil for all to see. Or rather, liberals allowed themselves to get beat up by racists to gain nationwide sympathy.

    With such false accusations, liberals try to recast their opponents as the dumb, ignorant, bigoted, inbred, knuckle-dragging rednecks they faced in the past. It makes them feel so righteous, so enlightened, so superior.

    Liberals are not really trying to deceive us. They’re trying to deceive themselves about righteousness of their cause, even as the world starts crumbling down around them.

    • Marcus

      Jim, that was truely insightful. Are you one of Bernie’s writers in an online disguise? :) If you are not on Bernie’s staff… you should be.

      • Jim Austin

        No, I’m not.

  • Lev Tannen

    Dear Mr.Goldberg,
    your article makes perfect sense in the assumption that the Republican primary is over, Mr.Romney got nomination and the general election campaign has started. But it has not. Now the primary is in a full swing and the war between conservative opponents of Mr.Romney and more liberal republicans supporting him is raging. In this circumstances your articles can be only seen as just slightly veiled endorsement for Mr.Romney. But why? If you are really a Mr.Romney supporter please say so and please explain why you are supporting him?
    My take on Mr.Romney is that, while he is definitely better, then Mr.Obama, he is much worse then other three candidates (except for Mr.Paul) and he has no chance to win the general election.
    The reason is simple. He has noting to offer. He cannot energize Republicans. They will vote for him only out of hatred to Mr.Obama (I will). But there is definitely not enough to win election.
    Mr.Romney is probably a brilliant businessmen. He probably knows how to create and grow enterprises. It is definitely a plus. But is it a president’s job to create and grow enterprises? I believe – no. The president’s job is to create a climate, an environment that allows businessmen, like Mr.Romney, to create job. And this is a totally different set of skills. Mr.Soros, for example, is an excellent businessman, but is definitely not a person we would like to see as a president. Mr.Romney has had a chance to demonstrate his abilities in creating a business friendly environment when he was a Massachusetts governor, and he failed miserably.
    So, please, explain why you support Mr.Romney instead of Mr.Gingrich (or Mr.Santorun, or Mr.Perry for that matter), who while a Speaker of the House, really demonstrated his ability to turn the country around and to make it again the land of opportunity.
    Best Wishes,
    Lev Tannen

  • Jeff

    You must be a racist for suggesting such a thing!


  • DOOM161

    “So merely saying that the president believes in big government, with its many programs that “spread the wealth around” – which strikes me as nothing more than a run-of-the-mill political accusation – somehow, in the liberal mind, is racist.”

    If that’s the case, I’m racist against George W. Bush.

  • Wallace Flint

    Hi Bernie,
    It’s really funyy to read such B.S.on those clowns who call themselves “liberals”. They can’t seem to accept the fact the Obama is inept, a real “empty suit”! They have to throw race into it! I’m beginning to wonder if those guys really believe the garbage that they spew out! The main thng sbout Obama, is that he is a smart “Chicago” politician,but a lousy president of the U.S.! There’s a big difference! “None are so blind as those who can’t see”!

    In God We Trust!
    Wally Flint- Boonville, NY

  • Terry Walbert

    Mr. Siegel’s comments are despicable but about as surprising as Hitler taking shots at the Jews and the British.

  • David R. Zukerman

    Actually, I see Romney as a Ken-type candidate (as in Ken and Barbie). This would suggest that for liberals, Ken and Barbie might well appeal to racists. Seems to me, liberals would prefer Gingrich or Santorum as the GOP candidate. With that I have no problem.

  • Jay Thompson

    Bernie, your incisive piece here speaks far beyond the short column you penned. I have mused over this same underhanded and recurrent theme of the left for some time now and it is astonishing for a number of reasons:

    1) These are the same people that decried the days of Jim Crow, took credit for the dismantling of the apparatus that unfairly limited blacks in the South, and who today, cry “foul” as regards states like South Carolina who demand what any civilized nation ought to demand: prove who the hell you are if you expect to vote in an American election. Yet, the left equates this responsible and logical policy with Crowism. Ridiculous.

    2) These pundits, still crying in their beer over the never-having-arrived “Great Society” of LBJ (probably a closet racist; how ironic), adamantly remain “progressive” despite mountains of historical evidence that their agenda, when imposed, has decidedly mixed results – at best.

    3) The rhetorical and logical fallacies among these writers like Siegel (and they are many)abound to alarming proportions. Their pieces routinely violate the ethics of solid rhetoric worse than my senior college prep students in the high school where I teach.

    Funny, I use their screeds to demonstrate to students how NOT to argue a point, how not to posture a position paper, and how not to reduce substantive debates to the squalor of ad hominem, sophomoric (pun intended) name-calling!

  • Joseph Maloney

    From the very beginning it was not Onama’s skin color , but his bacckground, I received a top security clearamce in 1967. Servimg in the U.S. Navy Yard, in the Naval Adninistrative Unit, Washington, DC. I remember a member named McFadden was denied a clearence, because his grandfather had “associations” with the communist party.
    We elected a person to the highest office in the land, our Commander in Chief, who has more than “associations” with communists and radicals.
    It’s not the color of President Obama that bothers me, it’s what’s between his ears that does.

  • Ken Besig, Israel

    It used to be that patriotism was the last refuge of a scoundrel, now it seems that false claims of racism have replaced it.
    Of course this is another sign of the Democratic Parties panic in the face of a certain GOP tsunami in November.

  • Jenna

    Bernie, I just love listening to your opinions. You are the best. Another great article. Barack Obama is such a divider and I’m constantly confused why when surveyed, he’s at 50%. Who would vote for him!??? The only people who’d vote for him have to be those who don’t pay taxes. I’m scared for this country.

    And whatever happened with that whole story that broke before the Shirley Sherrod debacle about how the MSM purposely throws out ‘racist’ to confuse interviewees? NY Times, Newsweek, Time, all of the major outlets. I thought the Shirley Sherrod story was started by the administration which conveniently trampled the racist story.

  • D. Geiseric

    Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into white countries.

    The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.

    Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-whites.

    What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?

    How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?

    And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn’t object to this?

    But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

  • Rick Johnson

    I’ve tried for years to figure out the mindset of the elitist/leftists. You’ve come as close as anyone on this Mr. Goldberg. The ‘don’t want him because he’s black’ argument sure flies in the face of all the support for Herman Cain (myself included). I will never, never vote for a Democrat, but I would vote for a black man who believes in small government and the Constitution!

    • Rick Johnson

      Guess I should have added; I’m white.

  • Robert A. Hall

    Liberals have always assumed that, since they are so obviously right and perfect in their views, anyone who opposes them must be evil, stupid or both. I had a cousin refer to me as “thick” during the 2004 election, though I have three degrees and belong to Mensa. Because Obama is part black but identifies as an African American, they can expand the “evil” construct to “racist,” since their must be some reason other than principle or a different world view that you oppose Obama’s statist policies. It has the added advantage that, from their viewpoint, any defense (some of my best friends) proves their point. The fact that I’d vote for Allen West for any office, or that I think Thomas Sowell is the smartest guy in the country and promote his books to everyone, means nothing. I oppose Obama’s policies, thus I’m a “racist.” It also means they don’t have to make the intellectual effort to honestly respond to your arguments, any more than you’d bother to argue the accomplishments of Jews to Nazi’s or Black Muslims. I will link to this from my Old Jarhead blog.

    Robert A. Hall
    Author: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
    All royalties go to help wounded veterans
    For a free PDF of my book, write tartanmarine(at)

  • Julie

    If they stopped reminding me that our president is black, I wouldn’t remember that detail. What is top of mind when I hear the words “Barack Obama” are the phrases: Trillions in debt, unemployment, refusing to build the pipeline and grabbing control of my health care.