One will recall that on February 18, 2009, less than a month into Obama’s supposed “post-racial” presidency, Holder commemorated Black History Month by declaring the American people “essentially a nation of cowards” for not talking more about race. “If we are to make progress in this area,” he piously intoned, “we must feel comfortable enough with one another and tolerant enough of each other to have frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us.”
This was so utterly, indisputably, laughingly wrong that those of us not reduced to outright mockery were left flabbergasted. Too little discussion of race? Race has long been our national obsession, a pastime more widely followed than football – which, in fact, itself regularly gives rise to mini-racial conflagrations – or Oprah (who’s never averse to fanning the conflagrations). Liberal commentators refuse to shut up about race; college students have it pushed in their faces from the first day of orientation on through to the de rigeur pieties about “diversity” and “social justice” at graduation; of necessity, most every Fortune 500 company has instituted policies aimed at hiring and promoting minorities, and woe be to recalcitrant managers who too adamantly adhere to more traditional standards of merit.
Seemingly each day we must endure some new illustration, large or small, of the ludicrous lengths to which this insanity has gone. Black Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon charges Pro Football Weekly with racism for describing (black) Auburn star Cam Newton as “very disingenuous” and “very scripted” with a “me-first” attitude – never mind that the publication had used exactly the same words to describe white players. According to the tabloids, “many” believed that ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ judge Mia Michaels was a racist, based on her decision to vote AdéChiké Torbert from the show. (Not to worry: a distraught Mia Michaels defended herself by revealing she has dated black men). Even the lunatic at a Connecticut beer distributorship who gunned down five co-workers after getting fired for theft cried racism, claiming he’d been subject to racist taunts.
As national obsessions go, this is quite a bizarre one, since most of us, left to our own devices, would prefer to take those we encounter in life as they come, on the merits; and, were it not for the fact that we are constantly being harangued about it by our progressive betters, in many cases we would scarcely notice race at all. Indeed, as Ann Coulter put it, in one of her more spot-on observations, “liberals and white supremacists are the only people left in America who are neurotically obsessed with race.”
Happily, white supremacists have largely gone the way of the dodo. Liberals, on the other hand, remain all-too-much with us, daily wielding the racism charge with all the subtlety of a caveman’s club.