Racism vs. the Race Card

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From comments:


We conservatives will have a purge of the folks you liberals especially hate if you liberals have a purge of the folks we especially hate.
I think this sort of thinking is endemic to how the conservative movement thinks about racism. For them it isn't an actual force, but a rhetorical device for disarming your opponents. So one does not call Robert Weissberg racist and question his ties to National Review because one seeks to stamp out racism, but because one hopes to secure the White House for Democrats. Or some such. Even if you have a record of calling out bigotry voiced by people deemed to be "on your team," it doesn't much matter because there's no real belief in it existing to begin with.

The conservative movement doesn't understand anti-racism as a value, only as a rhetorical pose. This is how you end up tarring the oldest integrationist group in the country (the NAACP) as racist. The slur has no real moral content to them. It's all a game of who can embarrass who. If you don't think racism is an actual force in the country, then you can only understand it's invocation as a tactic.

This is a very old way of you thinking. It's what you get out of watching Buckley's bumbling response to Baldwin--he neither regards Baldwin with any seriousness, nor the issue with any real concern. It's a game to him. He is effectively a homer for team red. Nothing else matters.

That tradition of viewing racism, not as an actual thing of import, but merely as rhetoric continues today. To abandon that tradition, I suspect, would be cause for an existential crisis.

EDIT: A bit more:

so, in your view, this justifies black panthers' death threats or the racism of al sharpton and the likes (White folks was [sic] in caves while we was building empires), or the racist attack mobs of black youths against white people, the fact george zimmerman is hispanic but the "post-racial" leftwing media shoved down everyone's throat that he in fact is a "white hispanic" ensuing a nationwide anti-white wave amongst black thugs, black teenagers murdering 90 year old white women, etc, etc.

Notice the same formula. The argument isn't really important. What's been written in this space isn't really important. It's a game. 
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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