James Taranto is worried about bigotry in America. Bigotry against white people. He starts his editorial with a quotation of wingnut blogger William Jacobson of legalinsurrection.com:
“Everytime [sic] I think the Democratic race card players could not get more vile, more deranged, more patronizingly demeaning to blacks, someone manages to defy even my vivid imagination,” thunders blogger William Jacobson. He’s referring to a passage in a Washington Post editorial about critics of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice—a passage that in our view is useful for its clarity.
He’s apparently a regular reader at Jacobson’s site.
Here’s the passage from the Washington Post editorial that upset Jacobson, and now Taranto:
Could it be, as members of the Congressional Black Caucus are charging, that the signatories of the letter are targeting Ms. Rice because she is an African American woman? The signatories deny that, and we can’t know their hearts. What we do know is that more than 80 of the signatories are white males, and nearly half are from states of the former Confederacy. You’d think that before launching their broadside, members of Congress would have taken care not to propagate any falsehoods of their own.
Taranto says it’s racist of the Washington Post to suggest that white males from Confederate states might be racist. Then he says it’s racist for Obama’s campaign organization to ask, “Which constituency groups do you identify yourself with? Select all that apply.” without offering a ‘white’ option. After some snarky speculation about the reason for this, he gives the one he believes:
The reason for the absence of a “Whites” category is that white identity politics is all but nonexistent in America today. That wasn’t always the case, of course: For a century after the Civil War, Southern white supremacists were an important part of the Democratic Party coalition. They were defeated and discredited in the 1960s, and the Democrats, still the party of identity politics, switched their focus to various nonwhite minorities.
Obama’s re-election was a triumph for this new identity politics—but the Post’s nasty editorial hints at a reason to think this form of politics may have long-term costs for both the party and the country.
Among the dangers of Democratic minority outreach is inflammation of the all but nonexistent white supremacist movement:
This seems likely to weaken the taboo against white identity politics. Whites who are not old enough to remember the pre-civil-rights era—Rep. Duncan, for instance, was born in 1966—have every reason to feel aggrieved by being targeted in this way.
Ultimately the danger of minority outreach, and the reelection of our black president, is that it brings out hostility. He’s not specific about who is getting hostile, but I can read between the lines.
The danger for the country is that a racially polarized electorate will produce a hostile, balkanized culture. In 2008 Obama held out the hope of a postracial America. His re-election raises the possibility of a most-racial America.
This is one more reason I think the Republicans are doomed, even though Mr. Taranto sees it as a reason the Democrats are doomed.