The Right Opinion

The New Racial Derangement Syndrome

By Victor Davis Hanson · Dec. 20, 2012

There is a different sort of racialist derangement spreading in the country – and it is getting ugly.

Here is actor Jamie Foxx joking recently about his new movie role: “I kill all the white people in the movie. How great is that?” Reverse white and black in the relevant ways and even a comedian would hear national outrage. Instead, his hip “Saturday Night Live” audience even gave Foxx applause.

Race-obsessed comedian Chris Rock tweeted on the Fourth of July, “Happy white peoples (sic) independence day …”

Actor Samuel L. Jackson, in a recent interview, sounded about as unapologetically reactionary as you can get: “I voted for Barack because he was black. … I hope Obama gets scary in the next four years.”

No one in Hollywood used to be more admired than Morgan Freeman, who once lectured interviewers on the need to transcend race. Not now, in the new age of racial regression. Freeman has accused Obama critics and the Tea Party of being racists. He went on to editorialize on Obama's racial bloodlines: “Barack had a mama, and she was white – very white, American, Kansas, middle of America … America's first black president hasn't arisen yet.”

Freeman's racial-purity obsessions were echoed on the CNN website, where an ad for the network's recent special report on race included a crude quote from three teen poets: “Black enough to be a n—–. White enough to be a good one.”

In the 21st century, are we returning to the racial labyrinth of the19th-century Old Confederacy, where we measure our supposed racial DNA to the nth degree? Apparently yes. ESPN sports commentator Rob Parker blasted Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III last week for admirably stating that he did not wish to be defined by his race rather than by his character: “He's black, he does his thing, but he's not really down with the cause.” Parker added: “He's not one of us. He's kind of black, but he's not really like the kind of guy you really want to hang out with.” (ESPN suspended Parker for his remarks.)

Unfortunately, the new racialist derangement is not confined to sports and entertainment. The Rev. Joseph Lowery – who gave the benediction at President Obama's first inauguration – sounded as venomous as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright in a speech that Lowery delivered to a black congregation shortly before this year's election: “I don't know what kind of a n—– wouldn't vote with a black man running.” Lowery reportedly preceded that rant by stating that when he was younger, he believed that all whites were going to hell, but now he merely believes that most of them are. And in his 2009 inauguration prayer, Lowery ended with his hopes for a future day when “white will embrace what is right.”

Wasn't Obama's election supposed to mark a new post-racial era? What happened?

For nearly a half-century, cultural relativism in the universities taught that racist speech was only bigotry if it came from those – mostly white – with power. Supposedly oppressed minorities could not themselves be real racists. But even if that bankrupt theory was once considered gospel, it is no longer convincing – given that offenders such as Foxx, Rock and Lowery (who was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Obama) are among the more affluent and acclaimed Americans.

The Obama administration must shoulder some of the blame. Attorney General Eric Holder, our nation's top prosecutor, has referred to African-Americans as “my people” and called Americans “a nation of cowards” for not focusing on race relations on his terms.

The president himself urged Latinos to “punish our enemies.” He weighed in unnecessarily during the Henry Louis Gates and Trayvon Martin affairs in ways that only added to the racial tensions. Vice President Joe Biden warned black voters at a campaign stop that Republicans were “going to put y'all back in chains.”

Obama, during the campaign, brilliantly – and cynically – targeted particular hyphenated voting groups on the basis of their race and ethnicity – on the assumption that such voters could be loosely united by opposition to a purported uncaring and shrinking conservative establishment. After the election, the Obama campaign asked its supporters to complete a survey that included a checklist with racial identifications – with white omitted.

There is a growing danger in this latest round of racial tribalism. Stirring up the pot for short-term political gain in a multiracial society is abjectly insane. If the new racialism grows unchecked, it will eventually lead to cycles of backlash and counter-backlash – and some day to something like the Balkans or Rwanda.

People are just people. But they can turn into veritable monsters when – as a great American once warned – they look to the color of our skin rather than the content of our character.

© 2012 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

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6 Comments

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

In Saint John's Gospel-chapter 4, we learn that there is racial predjudice amongst Samaritans and Jews. The Messiah is thirsty, and asks the woman for a cool drink of water. She is taken back, but agrees to quench thirst.Christ Jesus has a RIVER of LIVING WATERS flowing out of Himself.Are we thirsty for God's Kingdom---today?? Merry Christmas V.D.H.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 6:10 AM

Rod in USA said:

*"Rob Parker blasted Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III last week for admirably stating that he did not wish to be defined by his race rather than by his character: "He's black, he does his thing, but he's not really down with the cause." Parker added: "He's not one of us. He's kind of black, but he's not really like the kind of guy you really want to hang out with." (ESPN suspended Parker for his remarks.)"*

-- **GOOD** He should have been fired. Bob Costas too.

*"After the election, the Obama campaign asked its supporters to complete a survey that included a checklist with racial identifications -- with white omitted."*

**TELLING**. Of course, if you pay attention, Obama is not very secretive about much. But you have to be paying attention and not wearing rose colored glasses.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

It's gotten to the point that blacks can say any kind of racial rant and little is said or done about it. However, you let some white make any kind of remark that even remotely could be considred racist and the lamestream media goes crazy. MSNBC is full of racists but they get a way with it because nobody holds their feet to the fire and refutes their idiocy. This crap is going to result in another civil war in this country because the Demorats keep pushing class warfare with Odumbo being the biggest pusher.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 1:18 PM

richard ryan in Lamar,Missouri said:

I am nearing 80 years of age and was raised to be colorblind. My parents were some of the most colorblind people I have ever known. I had never considered myself racist, but I have to say Obama and his gang of black thugs are making me have 2nd thoughts.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 1:18 PM

wjm in Colorado said:

But they can turn into veritable monsters when -

They turn into Democrats!

Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Tapdaddy in Indiana said:

"For nearly a half-century, cultural relativism in the universities taught that racist speech was only bigotry if it came from those -- mostly white -- with power."
If you hate me just because I'm white or I hate you because you're not
then we are racists.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 3:18 PM