In the world of political rhetoric, there’s thoughtful commentary, blistering polemics, softball critiques … and what Steven Thrasher published today in the Village Voice. The title of the article is “White America Has Lost Its Mind,” and it’s all downhill from there as Thrasher seems only somewhat tongue-in-cheek in going on a 5-page race-baiting rant demonizing the evil “palefaces.” No, seriously, he uses that and other ridiculous racial euphemisms throughout a piece that is merely a regurgitation of every single left-wing talking point for the last two years.
Opposition to Obama’s health care, cap-and-trade, and stimulus proposals? Racism and fear of losing control by old white people. The sudden explosion of the Tea Party movement that has led to the precarious state of the Democratic party? Racism and not giving a black man a chance. Concern over the Muslim center near Ground Zero and outrage at the failure to enforce immigration law. Racism and fear of basically anyone who isn’t lily white. Throw in Christine O’Donnell, Carl Paladino, and Andrew Breitbart, and Thrasher seems to come to the ultimate conclusion that it is only racism of the right that prevents America and the world from moving into the glorious utopia that he and others that think like him would usher into existence. Also, we’re all Birthers, too.
Those inclined to think that conservatives are Nazis and evil maniacs who should be jailed will eat this up. Anyone with an ounce of common sense, however, should reject racially charged arguments like this out right. The sad truth about articles like this is that it will never convert moderates or independents, get a smirk but nothing more out of intellectual liberals, and simply enrage clear-thinking conservatives that have sincere policy disagreements with President Obama – and would have had them with a President John Kerry or President Hillary Clinton.
Indeed, the only thing that hateful invective like this accomplishes is whipping minorities into a frenzy of identity-based politics. Hispanics, blacks, and Muslims must only vote for liberal Democrats, apparently, because anyone else is an insane closet racist who secretly wants to kill those not like them.
I wish I could believe Thrasher was joking when he wrote this. After suffering through the whole thing, however, there’s too many of what seems like sincere arguments to laugh the piece off as a parody. Thrasher may have set out to merely raise some hackles and tick off his ideological opponents, but regardless of his original intent, it’s drivel like this that prevent healing of the real racial divide that exists in this country. Rather than try to fix, Thrasher and his ilk are content to exacerbate it and egg it on in terms of victory of one race over another.
It’s a liberal fairy tale constructed to avoid arguing the issues and allow an easy demonization of those with a different opinion. It’s a damn shame, and an absolute disgrace to the publication.