From Pine View Farm

What Frightens Conservatives? 6

Well, maybe not all conservative. Just a certain subset of them.

Jon Swift analyzes the undercurrents:

Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck are both terrified–terrified! But its not terrorists who are making them so anxious. Global warming isn’t what’s frightening them. They’re not afraid that people will stop taking them seriously and that their ratings will plummet forcing Fox and CNN to cancel their shows. What has them shaking with fear is the prospect of having friendly conversations with African-Americans.

“Now you got to feel sorry for us white folks here, because I’m telling you now I’m afraid to say anything. . . . Instead of black and white Americans coming together, white Americans are terrified,” said O’Reilly. “Now we can’t even say you’re articulate? We can’t even give you guys compliments?”

“I don’t have a lot of African-American friends,” confessed Beck. “I think part of it is because I’m afraid that I would be in an open conversation, and I would say something that somebody would take wrong, and then it would be a nightmare. Am I alone in feeling that? Now we can’t even say you’re articulate? We can’t even give you guys compliments because they’ll be taken as condescension?” As Joe Biden recently learned, you can’t even say something nice about blackpeople without getting attacked.



  1. Opie

    February 20, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    I don’t care if anyone considers me racist anymore, and I haven’t for years. I don’t even bother answering the charge. God knows what my true character is and everyone else can have their own judgments.

    When the topic of race enters the public discourse, I will and do have opinions. They won’t always please people who see me as a racist. That’s too bad. (For them, anyway… not for me.)

    I don’t have any black friends.

    I don’t have any white friends.

    I just have friends.

  2. Karen

    February 21, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    I like that, Steve

  3. Frank

    February 21, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    Having spent a fair amount of time jawboning with Opie when we first met, I am certain that he would neither play, nor be played by, the “race card.”

    Sadly, there are too many who would. It is not that long since the time of “white” and “colored” restrooms, drinking fountains, and restaurants. And though those may have disappeared, the thinking that led to them lives on in far too many persons.

    It is a shame that they shelter now under the “Conservative” banner as they once sheltered under the “Solid Democratic South” banner.

    And even more of a shame that some who call themselves “conservative” welcome them there.

  4. Opie

    February 21, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    But you’re only stating half of the problem, Frank. There’s no shortage of racists at either end of the political spectrum.

    I used to work with a guy who was a conservative, albeit of a slightly different stripe than me. We were both assigned to work with a black customer on a sproadic but long-term basis. I didn’t bring politics up with James, but my friend eventually did, and the result was interesting. James said he had always been a Democrat because they supported civil rights. My friend, having established a rapport with James, basically said in so many words, “James, I wish you could hear how some of those people talk about blacks when blacks aren’t around. And then publicly they maneuver conservatives like me into taking the blunt of the blame for racism.” He later told me James was stunned.

    Having a different sort of personality, I would be to timid to have that sort of conversation with a black friend, but I do admit I share the bitterness toward liberalism for their dishonest use of our nations racism problems, just as much as that friend of mine.

    I know that there are a number of liberal politicians who have the sincerest intentions of working to improve our society. But if they had to forfeit all the votes they get from loyal Democrats who are racists, they’d never win an election.

  5. Frank

    February 21, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    I don’t know how long ago that conversation took place. There has been a sea change in party allegiance over the last 40 years.

    Certainly there are situations where Democrats have played the race card–John Street’s skillful response to the bugging of his office helped get him reelected.

    But that was sort of playing it in reverse and it would not have worked except for the history of racism that made credible his claims that he was targeted because of his race.

    Frankly, Nixon’s Southern strategy has worked. The old line white racists have left the Democratic Party and found homes elsewhere.

    (If you want, you can track them here. Morris Dees is the Real Deal.)

    So I’m not sure I follow your argument.

    There’s a lot to be said about how stupidly PC some persons who call themselves liberal have gotten–being so afraid that they might offend somebody, anybody, that they are afraid to call out bad behavior when they see it, but I don’t see many contemporary liberals openly, or even covertly, appealing for votes of racist, with or without code words, the way Harry Byrd did with “Massive Resistance.”

    Help me out here. Give me some examples.

  6. Opie

    February 21, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    People who blame their failures on others tend not to be too selective about who they blame those failures on. In everyday conversation I have found tons of people over the years who will blame their frustrations on the rich, blacks, affirmative action, illegal aliens and large corporations. Sometimes I think who they blame just depends on the phase of the moon or day of the week.

    Democrats pander to this attitude selectively. They have no problem courting this group by agreeing that their problems are caused by groups that don’t support the Democratic Party, and they simply remain silent on the groups that do. A recent example is Howard Dean’s NASCAR fiasco. You can’t spend a lifetime claiming that Southern rednecks are racists and then make a play for their votes and have us believe that only the non-racist ones will vote for you. I’m not gullible enough to buy that.

    People of this ilk (who blame their shortfalls on others) aren’t allowed into active roles in the Democratic Party but their votes aren’t turned down either. And the Democratic Party has the polling sophistication to find out just how many votes they get from such people, but you can bet they’d rather not know.

    You don’t have to pander to racism to get a racist’s vote. The racist by nature feels ripped-off in life, and all you have to do is act like you feel his pain and like you want to help him out.