What Playing the Race Card Looks Like

Americans For Cain, a pro-Herman Cain political action committee, has put out the advertisement


If you're someone who is truly offended by frivolous accusations of racism that invoke the subject as a cynical political tool, this ad ought to make you furious. I wonder how many conservatives will see it that way. I addressed the subject a recent post, and I can't help but agree with Paul Waldman's assessment of how racism is now treated inside the conservative movement:

1. The primary victims of racism are white people.

2. The most vicious form of racism is when a white person is falsely accused of being a racist.

3. On rare occasions, a black person can be a victim of racism, but this only occurs when a prominent black conservative is criticized for, well, for pretty much anything. In that case, the criticism can only be motivated by the racism that liberals feel in their hearts, unlike conservatives, who all believe in the equality of all people.

Can you imagine if a pro-Barack Obama PAC had run an ad like that during the 2008 election?

Presented by

Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Politics

Just In