If Harry Reid is forced to retire, do conservatives and Republicans actually end up the biggest losers?
This morning I read a quote from Ilya Somin of the Volokh Conspiracy and laughed out loud. Here’s what was said:
If the GOP wins this particular fight and Reid is forced to resign, there will be a new norm in public discourse under which no prominent person can openly say the same kinds of things as Reid without being labeled a racist.
We’ve been there for a long time — if you’re anything but a liberal Democrat. Republicans, conservatives … regular Americans can’t say what Harry Reid said without censure.
Noting that President Obama turns the jive on and off is no different than noting that Hillary Clinton does it. It’s no different than noting that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson do it. It’s no different than noting that major sports and music celebrities (white and black) do it. That is not racist. That’s a fact. Now, whether or not this verbal nuance is a good or bad thing is another argument entirely, but I don’t think anyone can honestly argue that it doesn’t happen.
If I said these things and I was a Democrat, though, I wouldn’t be presumed racist — just a little edgy and maybe somewhat insensitive. But since I’m a conservative, that last paragraph just confirms what is self-evident to someone from the left: I’m a racist — else would I be a conservative?
Never mind that there are plenty of black people who would make the same observation. Never mind that there are black conservatives who would say the same thing. The conservative blacks, though, are illegitimate. They betray their race for refusing to do things like sliding into jive in front of certain audiences. They are trying to be “too white.” They aren’t proud of their black heritage, evidently.
Of course, the whole “black enough” argument is deeply offensive and ridiculous and actually very racist. But these notions are put forth by the very leaders who insist that they are for changing the black culture to respect education, erudition, and intelligent discourse.
So while Ilya Somin is correct in decrying the constriction of speech for all people, I’m saying it’s already happened for some people. Now, I wrote those words because I have already given up. Being labeled racist bothers me less than restricting my speech. And by virtue of being conservative, I am already labeled racist.
What makes me inherently racist is my conservatism. It’s axiomatic. So screw it. The label has lost it’s sting.