H/T One Old VetIt appears to be the new party line: on CNN's State of the Union, Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said of the failure to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform a.k.a. Amnesty/ Immigration Surge that
to a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism. And that's unfortunate.Israel was commenting a similar smear by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi [Pelosi: Race is why the GOP is blocking immigration, by Jane C. Timm. MSNBC, April 10, 2014].
Is race holding up immigration reform? CNN, April 13, 2014
The conventional response: protest innocence. And according to MSNBC that's exactly what the the deeply conventional GOP Speaker John Boehner did, whimpering “There is no issue of race here.”
But what I think would be the best response: to point out that opposition to the Amnesty/ Immigration Surge is not motivated by "racism" in the sense of unreasoning prejudice—but it is motivated by race, in the sense that white Americans have an entirely rational and reasonable fear of what will happen to them if current government policy succeeds in reducing them to a minority.
Whites have rights too. Don't they?
(American blacks, now displaced as the largest minority by imported Hispanics, have reason to fear as well—even if their leaders won't voice it.)
I pioneered this argument in my refutation of the anti-Tea Party smears in 2009: Yes, It Is About Race. Quite Right Too. But, as it doesn't seem to have sunk in, I'll repeat it here:
I'm sure that New York Times house-broken "conservative" columnist David Brooks was absolutely right to say he detected no signs of "racism", in the sense of visceral personal animosity, as he jogged through the 9/12 [Tea Party] rally in Washington. (No, It's Not About Race, New York Times, September 17, 2009.)...Whites have rights. Race is reasonable. Arguments coming soon from a GOP/Generic American Party spokesthing near you.
But it's still "about race". It is no coincidence, comrades, that the backlash is overwhelming white. Whites in America voted heavily against Obama. White Protestants ("let's face it, they are America"—Phillip Roth, American Pastoral, p. 311) still make up nearly half (42%) the electorate and they voted 2-1 for McCain. But are even 4% of Obama's appointments white Protestants?
The plain fact is that the Obama Administration has very shallow roots in historic America. It is, to put it brutally, a minority occupation government. Government and governed have little real contact or mutual understanding. It's a recipe for continuous clashes.