Hating Breitbart, Race, and Election 2012
I watched a terrific new film last night -- Hating Breitbart, Andrew Marcus’ documentary about the life and times of the late Andrew Breitbart. You could call the movie at once gut-wrenching and exhilarating.
It was an especially emotional experience for me because I knew Andrew B. well and we had a complicated relationship. (Hey, we’re complicated guys. Or, in his case, was.)
But all that was swept aside while viewing the film. What an extraordinary man Bretibart was. What a necessary man. And what a loss!
I kept thinking how much we are missing Andrew during this current -- unbelievably important -- election, how he might have found the key to unlocking the hypocrisy of Obama and his supporters. What would he have said and done about the Benghazi scandal, for example, to make its venality clear to the public? Who knows, but it could have been interesting.
After all, Breitbart was a media genius.
That genius was on display in the film, most particularly in that most American of all conundrums -- the struggle over race. For me, Andrew’s shining hour was his heroic fight to demonstrate that the Tea Party was in no sense a racist movement. (His finest comic hour was the exposure of the execrable Anthony Weiner.)
Andrew won that struggle on race in the short run, when not a soul took him up on his one hundred thousand dollar offer for verifiable evidence that even one person used the n-word at a Tea Party demonstration in D.C. As you may recall, that was the event during which a group of black political leaders -- including, sadly, the great John Lewis -- alleged they were assaulted by that racist epithet fifteen times.
Marcus makes clear in his documentary that the vast majority of the mainstream media never reported that this never happened. It didn’t fit their narrative, as Breitbart would say. They wanted the Tea Party to be the second coming of the Ku Klux Klan, not just average citizens who thought that the government --shockingly -- spent too much money.
Which leads us inexorably up to today and why I have missed Andrew B. during the election: the unspoken story of 2012 is race.
I didn’t vote for Barack Obama in 2008 -- I didn’t like what I knew of his policies and was suspicious of his rhetoric -- but I admit his election brought tears to my eyes. As a former sixties civil rights worker, and simply as an American, I hoped that his election would put to rest centuries of racial strife, that we could all now just move on.
Boy, was I wrong. The reverse occurred -- and not just because of such missteps as the Henry Louis Gates affair when Obama rushed to judgment of the Cambridge police.
Much larger issues were at play. With an economy in freefall and the African-American population suffering most of all with an official unemployment rate now at 14.3% -- who knows what the real rate is, the listed unemployment rate for black teens is a stunning 40.5% -- distractions had to be created.
Obama clearly has not been good for his own people. (Well, in his case his people may actually be aging Hawaiian hippies, who would more naturally be Gary Johnson supporters.)
But the truth of the matter is that the Democratic Party never was good for black people. Their Keynesian programs -- actually more like old-fashioned patronage -- have never worked. By isolating blacks, they encouraged a form of self-limiting segregation. Integration -- what we fought for in the sixties -- was abjured because it would end racial voting blocks.
So the Democratic Party must fan the flames of racism to succeed. It literally depends on racism for its existence. The race-baiting Al Sharptons and Maxine Waters of the world are not anomalous. They are the lynchpins of a reactionary system, hypnotizing their own people through unending self-destructive resentment.
Obama -- who did nothing to alleviate this or even paid much attention to it -- received 98% of the black vote in 2008 and is about to do as well, or nearly, in 2012. Can you imagine the media reaction if whites came out for Romney in anywhere near that unanimity?
The Democratic Party is the true enemy of black people. It’s all dreadfully sad, sadder even than John Lewis playing along with those bogus accusations of racism at the Tea Party rally.
Andrew Breitbart played court jester to this depressing roundelay. Through his energy, we were able to see a way out. He rallied us and chided us when we slipped. I miss him.
Thanks, Andrew Marcus, for the memories. Let's go out and win this one for Andrew.