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?

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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.

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