It’s not Racism if He’s a Terrorist!

Two things have been bothering me for some time. The first is peoples’ stubborn insistence that Obama is somehow “a Muslim.” The second is the left-wing blog-o-sphere’s insistence that “code words” (like Community Organizer, Terrorist, or Muslim) are simply veiled expressions of racism. 

The first one is clearly stupid and objectionable, but the second, until today, seemed to me a case of over-sensitivity (at best) or partisan race-baiting (at worst). Then I realized they were right.

If you are racist (not necessarily cross-burning, hood-wearing racist, just “I’d-never-let-my-daughter-date-a-black-guy” kind of racist), and you don’t feel comfortable saying to someone, “I won’t vote for Obama because he’s black,” then you simply have to say, “It’s because he’s Muslim.”

Bam! You’re off the hook. No need to elaborate on policy or express any sort of thoughtful argument, because, as everyone knows, Muslims are evil — most are terrorists.

But here is were it gets tricky. Let’s say you don’t even know you are racist. Let’s say you’ve internally masked your racism in such a way that you would just feel “weird” voting for a black person. Let’s say, although you would be upset by it, you would let your daughter date a black guy — but you would more or less hide if from everyone you knew — you’d be angry, disappointed — you’d think you did something wrong in raising her — and you’d be extremely embarrassed whenever anyone close to you found out what she was doing… If you are that kind of racist, how do you express your objections to Obama? I’ll tell you, you say, “He’s a Muslim!”

Bam! You’re off the hook. No need to elaborate on policy or express any sort of thoughtful argument, because, as everyone knows, Muslims are evil — most are terrorists.

When you don’t want to vote for the black guy because he’s black, you need an excuse — being Muslim is that perfect excuse. It’s okay to be prejudiced against a religion, particularly when that religion claims to represent the inerrant word of God… and particularly particularly when your religion makes the same claim… and particularly particularly particularly when most of “those people” are terrorists…

Claiming Obama is Muslim, even after you know he has gone to the same Christian church for twenty years, even after you know he claims to have been “saved” by Jesus, is just a way to dismiss him for the color of his skin.

Now if only I could figure out what being called a “community organizer” means…


One Response

  1. Our country is just too big. Too spread out to be unified and get along. Living closely together with people forces you to see things you might otherwise choose to ignore or just not deal with.

    Its a strange cop-out, what you describe. But isn’t that just the way we usually, as people, work it out? Don’t we just use some rationalization to get around saying what we think if what we think might piss people off or make them think less of us?

    Interesting topic, this thing you wrote.

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