Friday, June 23, 2006

Assumptions of Racism

Today I read comments on Cathy Young's blog saying that Condi's popularity didn't mean that people would actually vote for a black person.

Of course, the people with whom Condi is particularly popular who wouldn't vote for a black person are on the right, right? Because we all *know* that the right is racist and liberals and progressives believe in equality.

I suggested that this person was going by what he *believed* other people would not do instead of what he'd be willing to do himself. I said he was wrong. I explained that even the biggest chauvinist bigot can and will make an exception for an individual. (There are other reasons I don't think that Condi would win a presidential race, even if she agreed to run. A VP slot might work though.)

But maybe I was being too kind. Maybe this person said people wouldn' t vote for a black candidate because *he* wouldn't vote for a black candidate.

Today, via Vikingpundit, I read this. (Scroll down.) I'm not surprised, obviously, but I do think this is really huge. I've been accused of racism for this or that political belief for so long. But lately I've started to realize that group politics almost always involves the assumption of secondary status of all the groups being advocated for. It's not a "you can do it!" encouragement but a "you *can't* do it" judgement.

Similarly, some of the "Iraq is doomed to failure" proclamations I've heard are aparently based on the "fact" that the Iraqi people simply aren't capable of civilization so trying to impose one was doomed before we began. Even while calling this racism, I didn't really *believe* that it involved valuing people differently, just expecting less of the little brown folks.

But this study shows more than just the "bigotry of low expectations."

So Republicans are stingy bastards (I wonder how the libertarians responded!) but they are equal oportunity stingy bastards. But Democrats... generally more generous, and more likely to respond with handouts, respond with higher handouts for whites and lower handouts for blacks and other minorities.

I really can't see any way to explain this as misapplied good intentions.

Can you?


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