The Democrats’ Racial Albatross

November 07, 2017

Let me phrase it this way. It has become canon that the defining 2008 campaign moment for then senator Barack Obama was his March ’08 “More Perfect Union” speech, in which he (finally) denounced frocked fart-cushion Rev. Jeremiah Wright. This is the speech that our cultured pundit class assures us “won Obama the primary” and, by extension, the presidency. Let’s revisit a few excerpts:

The remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country—a view that sees white racism as endemic.

A similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience—as far as they’re concerned, no one’s handed them anything, they’ve built it from scratch. They’ve worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they’re told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.

To wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns—this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.

This is the speech that supposedly won Obama the presidency, yet can you imagine a single Democrat seeking state or national office speaking words like that today? Of course not. They’d be labeled Nazis and Klansmen. They’d be booted from the party. And that’s why the Democrats are in trouble. The party today would never allow the kind of lip service to racial fairness that Obama offered in ’08. The words of arguably the most leftist president in U.S. history would now be considered right-wing. That’s how bad things have gotten in the past decade.

Let’s not forget that the bartender who refused service to Jeffrey Wright because of his snide comments and racist finger-pointing sacrificed her tip. She could have swallowed her pride and served him, and maybe made a few extra bucks, money she probably needed.

But he pushed her too far, and she was willing to give up some extra cash because she was tired of being abused for being a “white chick.”

There’s a lesson in that story…one that Democrats ignore at their own risk.

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