Bernard Goldberg on the use of racism by liberals to protect liberals.
Criticism of white politicians is perfectly legitimate, of course. Just ask any George W. Bush or any other Republican who has ever run for president. But the same rules apparently don’t apply to African American public officials – if they’re liberal African American officials. Liberal elites can say whatever they want about Clarence Thomas, Condoleeza Rice, and (soon-to-be former) Congressman Allen West. They’re black conservatives, which means they’re fair game. It’s perfectly permissible to call them Uncle Toms, house Negroes and the like. But utter a discouraging word about a black liberal and you’re in for a heap of trouble
Black liberals must be protected. Their honesty and their competence cannot be questioned. No criticism, no matter how reasonable and legitimate, is permitted. And so, their detractors must be slandered as racists. Liberal African American officials – especially those of the highest rank — can’t be held accountable precisely because they’re African Americans. You get the impression that simply being a black liberal is a kind of get out of jail free card? Oops, is that racist?
Is this what the most important movement of the 20th century — the great Civil Rights Movement — has come to?
To their everlasting credit, liberals were on the right side of the civil rights struggle. So it isn’t difficult to understand their belief that racism lurks just beneath the surface, even in today’s America. But what they seem not to understand is that racism is an ugly thing even when it’s the soft kind, pedaled by supposedly well-meaning white liberals who are too eager to look the other way when black politicians – like every other kind of politician – get into trouble of their own making. Calling critics bigots is not progress. It’s not even liberal.