I don’t agree with Pat Buchanan entirely here.
But as I’ve written here before, the real life equivalents of those fictional characters didn’t have the internet, talk radio and Fox News. If they had, what we’re seeing now would have probably manifested in the 1970s. (Now that would be an alternative history worth reading.)
Anyway, Buchanan also twice describes Sherrod’s audience as “cheering,” which isn’t how I would describe their reaction to her speech.
Now, whatever one’s views on each of these episodes in which race played a role, white Americans are being forced to address them. And, surely, the White House understands this is bad news for Obama and the Democratic Party.
For though the black community remains solidly behind Obama and the white majority is shrinking toward minority status by 2042 or 2050, depending on which Census survey one uses, whites in America still outnumber blacks five to one.
And if forced constantly to come down on one side or the other of a racial divide, most folks will wind up with their own.
In past elections, Democrats have raised race—allegations that black churches were being torched in the South, that George W. Bush’s opposition to a hate crimes bill meant he was coldly indifferent to the dragging death of a handicapped black man—to solidify and energize the minority vote. And, today, that vote remains solid behind Obama.
Where the erosion is taking place is in white America, among working- and middle-class folks who voted for Hillary Clinton in the primaries but took a chance with Obama in the fall. Now, every time some new incident erupts, these folks are being tarred.
Opposition to affirmative action is racist. Supporting the tea party gives aid and comfort to racists. Opposing health care puts you in league with folks who used racial slurs on Rep. John Lewis. To raise the issue of the New Black Panther Party is to play the race card.
One understand the bitterness of tea party folks who carry signs that read: “What difference does it make what this placard says. You’ll call it racist anyway.”