Friday, September 18, 2009

Food for Thought

Reinterpreting racism.

We've seen a rise in the use of the terms "racist" and "racism" in the last 15 years, and many of us have seen it as a way to cut off debate when liberals don't like certain critics or criticism. The linked article makes some interesting points, particularly this one:

This infinite loop is the inevitable result of years of black identity politics, which created a blueprint for whites who feel threatened by America's changing demographics, says Carol Swain, a Vanderbilt University professor and author of "The New White Nationalism In America."

"We need to rethink what is racist and who can legitimately call whom racist," Swain said, citing the argument that blacks can't be racist because racism requires power.

"With a black president, a black attorney general, and blacks holding various power positions around the country, now might be a time when we can concede that anyone can express attitudes and actions that others can justifiably characterize as racist."

It would be no small feat to ween liberals from this smear, since they clearly think crying wolf is a winning strategy to any debate. But once we reach the point where, by their own definition, anyone can be a racist, doesn't the word become meaningless?