CRITICISM OF HILLARY IS
RACISM — SAY WHAT?!
During the election campaign of 2012, a video was circulated showing GOP candidate Mitt Romney remarking to a group of supporters that 47 percent of the population benefitted from some government program.
It was a simple, factual observation on his part. But it was immediately spun by the media into “proof” of millionaire Romney’s disdain for the financial struggles faced by most Americans and an indication that, if elected, he would slash critical social programs.
Today, Romney’s 47-percent comment is often cited as a huge gaffe — the downward turn in his campaign. My own view is that he had stumbled onto a snappy soundbite and a powerful theme which could have been used to great effect, given broad voter resentment expressed in the Tea Party enthusiasm of the time.
But he blew the opportunity, allowing media criticism to shake his resolve. Instead of embracing the 47-percent line, he tried to explain it away, and never regained momentum.
Hillary Clinton recently asserted that “half” of Donald Trump’s supporters, those infamous deplorables, are acting out their collective bigotry…
“The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that, and he [Trump] has lifted them up.”
Perhaps it’s a sign of cracks developing in the media wall that’s protected her (but is now breaking down as her health issues become more apparent) that those words are being dubbed Hillary’s 47-Percent Moment.
Washington Post writer Dan Balz called them a “self-inflicted wound” that was “very close to the dictionary definition of bigoted.” On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” commentator David Brooks asserted that “candidates should not be sociologists” — which is especially poignant, given Hillary’s long-standing sociological pretentions (“It takes a village” and all that).
Not to worry, though. Our gal has friends struggling to patch those cracks in the media wall. One such — Ta-Nehisi Coates, national correspondent for The Atlantic — is busily trowelling that old reliable political mortar: implications of racism.
In an impressive display of ideological jiu-jitsu, Coates claims that…
“the case against Clinton’s ‘basket of deplorables’ is a triumph of style over substance, of clamorous white grievance over knowable facts.”
Or, to put things another way, it’s a racist act to point out Hillary’s condescending attitude. And this racism doesn’t just pervade the great unwashed mass of Trumpsters, it has infected the media itself…
“For much of this campaign journalists have attacked Hillary Clinton for being evasive and avoiding hard questioning from their ranks. And then the second Clinton is forthright and says something revealing, she is attacked — not for the substance of what she’s said—but simply for having said it.”
“This weekend was not just another misanalysis, it was a shocking betrayal of the journalistic mission which should urge the revelation of truth as opposed to the propagation of hot takes, Washington jargon, and politics-speak.”
By which Coates presumably means the media’s mission to make Hillary Clinton our first woman President, come hell or high water.
But then, perhaps I’m just naive. How could I not have recognized that the real intention of mainstream journalists, all along, has been to strengthen and protect white privilege…
“The safe space for the act of being white endures today. This weekend, the media, an ostensibly great American institution, saw it challenged and — not for the first time — organized to preserve it…
“The need to be white is a sensitive matter — one which our institutions are inexorably and mindlessly bound to protect.”
And you thought the media were just a bunch of East Coast liberals — “effete intellectual snobs,” “nattering nabobs of negativism,” to quote the late Spiro Agnew.
I don’t see Hillary’s tactless comment as anything particularly new. Politicians routinely insult their opponents’ supporters in order to assure their own troops of how smart they are. Hillary was just a little too forthright, that’s all.
And I certainly don’t fault Trump for making the most of her ill-chosen words. He saw an opportunity, and he jumped on it.
But Ta-Nehisi Coates’ knee-jerk reaction to this “shocking betrayal” by his fellow journalists illustrates an attitude that seriously hampers our nation’s efforts to confront genuine bigotry. If everything is racism, than racism must be humanity’s default setting, and no progress is possible.
Hell — if even Coates’ congenitally liberal colleagues in the media can’t get beyond it, what hope is there for the rest of us?
Ta-Nehisi Coates can take heart. Not all the media are turning their backs on poor Hillary. Mediaite reports that CBS edited a comment in a Bill Clinton interview by which he made a rather embarrassing admission about her health, to the effect that…
“frequently — well not frequently, rarely — but on more than one occasion, over the last many, many years, the same sort of thing happened to her when she got severely dehydrated.”
I do not accept that racism need be humanity’s default setting. If you missed it, read my recent post on race relations at…