That’s how Rush treats people — in the Martin Luther King aspiration that the content of one’s character is what matters, not the color of one’s skin. Yet, in the media narrative, he’s somehow the one who’s got a race issue — and the guys who trade on race, live and breathe it 24/7, are held up as our public conscience. The Left calls this “progress.” I call it perversion.
There’s only one way this nonsense ever goes away: When we say “enough!” and tell the race-baiters their time is up.
Who has frivolously labeled more people racist in 2009, Al Sharpton or Rush Limbaugh? Prior to researching my latest column at The Daily Beast I would’ve said the former, but now I’d guess the latter. See what I’m talking about here.
This is an issue I’ve always cared a lot about. Its partly a function of seeing college activists, and even some administrators, cynically using race as a political cudgel. I also think, when I see something like the Duke Lacrosse controversy, that those who falsely cry racism aren’t merely destroying someone’s reputation without regard for the truth, they are also leading minorities to believe that more people hate them than is in fact the case.
On the left, I think cynical, false charges of racism are used pretty routinely. The most recent example I can think of is ACORN’s CEO insisting that the whole pimp and prostitute controversy is actually rooted in bigotry against the largely non-white folks that the organization serves. What alarms me on the right is the tendency to immediately dismiss all charges of racism… and the simultaneous trend, relatively recent in origin, to use charges of racism as cynically and irresponsibly as anyone. I’m afraid that Mr. Limbaugh is one of the men driving this trend, and if you read this, I think you’ll find that proposition quite difficult to deny.
UPDATE: Also see David Frum, who does a good job explaining why many conservatives are reacting to the fake racist quote attributed to Mr. Limbaugh as they are.
UPDATE 2: I tangle with Adam Serwer here.