September 16, 2008
Or am I missing something?
A criticism of Barack Obama that cannot be called "racist":
Barack Obama is truly a phenomenon of our time-- a presidential candidate who cannot cite a single serious accomplishment in his entire career, besides advancing his own career with rhetoric.It's a very insightful piece, and its author, Thomas Sowell, cannot be charged with racism for writing it.
Or can he? I don't think so, because Sowell is black. And according to the standards of identity politics, when a member of a racial minority group criticizes another member of the same minority, that is not racism.
Not only that, but according to the crazed identitarian rules that prevail today, Thomas Sowell is arguably "blacker" than is Barack Obama. Unlike Obama -- who is "not descended from slaves, nor was his childhood marked by poverty, segregated schooling or social deprivation" -- Sowell grew up in poverty in the South:
He grew up in poverty in the South when black folks were still on the fringes of society. As a kid he visited the home of some white folks, for the first time saw the taps for both hot water and cold water, and thought that the "rich" people "drank a lot of water" because they had two taps. He did not even know that blond was a possible color for hair until he was older. His family moved to New York City when he was still a child. When he enrolled in the schools, he had to fight the Southern stereotypes because everyone knew that "Southern kids were dumb."So, while I am not personally impressed by identitarian arguments based on race, at least they can't apply them to Sowell's criticisms of Obama. Unless I'm missing something.
Maybe I am. I've been wracking my brains over the bizarre assertion that Sarah Palin is "not a woman." The idea is that she's "a Republican, conservative man who just happens to be in a woman's body." Assume that's the case. There's nothing suddenly wrong with being transgendered, is there? Or am I missing something else?
Maybe I am.
Perhaps the rule is that you can't be what you are unless you agree with what they tell you you have to think in order to be what you are.
It sounds simple, until you discover that you're not allowed to disagree, because you'd be disagreeing with your missing self, which is not yours.
MORE: According to the comments below, what I've been missing is that conservatism is racism.
Does that mean that as a small l libertarian, I'm off the hook?
posted by Eric on 09.16.08 at 12:59 PM
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