Surprising, yes? I'd have thought there'd have been a memorial, or something, but I had to find out over at National Review.
In a post called Racism Today, Jay Nordlinger quotes this letter:
As everyone sweats out the final Obamacare tallies, I’m struck by a couple of other stories. In one case, someone reported hearing an anti-black epithet used at a political rally. In another case, dogged police finally arrested the perpetrator of an intolerable crime. The perp is a 16-year-old kid who made a potentially offensive comment on a Wal-Mart overhead speaker. That these things are even remotely newsworthy leads me to one conclusion: Racism in America is dead. We had slavery, then we had Jim Crow — and now we have the occasional public utterance of a bad word. Real racism has been reduced to de minimis levels, while charges of racism seem to increase. I’ll vote for the first politician with the brass to say that "racism" should be dropped from our national dialogue.
We’re a good nation, among the least racist on earth . . .
Dana Perino (remember her?) and Bill Burck seem equally dubious:
Today, the New York Times features an article drawing a direct link between the Obamacare debate and the civil-rights struggle over 40 years ago. The title is "Past Strife and Jeers," and here is the opening paragraph:
WASHINGTON — Forty-five years ago, John Lewis began the third of what became society-shifting civil rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. On Sunday, the anniversary of that famous trek, he joined hands with fellow House Democrats and marched past jeering protesters into the Capitol to remake the nation’s health care system.
We have no tolerance for intolerance and condemn anyone who would resort to racist name-calling. Shame on anyone who did. But shame on the New York Times for comparing those who protested the Democrats’ health-care policy with the virulent southern racists who participated in violent and often deadly protests against civil-rights demonstrators. Give us a break.
See, any resemblance we might imagine to those oldtime southern racists in those who jeered and spit upon black Congressmen just the other day while holding up signs saying "Kill," that's just imaginary. The New York Times shouldn't even think of labeling the people who did it as racists (although naturally it's regrettable they could be mistaken for them in a
bright dim light). We can't know those people's true motives and it would be irresponsible to speculate on what actions they might have sunk to in the absence of the full glare of the entire country's attention or of the law enforcement officers charged with protecting the duly elected representatives of the people's will.
Fortunately we've got George Will to clarify the real problems we face:
Great George Will Column over the Weekend [Roger Clegg]
He skewers Secretary of Education Duncan’s new civil-rights enforcement initiative, noting that bringing "disparate impact" actions is not only bad policy but legally dubious, and points out that the real reason for racial disparities in education is because "71.6 percent of African American children and 51.3 percent of Latino children are born to unmarried women." (On the other hand, Sophia A. Nelson’s op-ed, which also appeared in the Washington Post over the weekend, manages to avoid any mention of this problem in her discussion of "Unequal in the age of Obama.")
Then just today Daniel Foster had to issue a disclaimer:
Coulter in Canada [Daniel Foster]
Ann Coulter has given another charged, contentious talk, this time at the University of Western Ontario.
UPDATE: I've heard from a number of readers suggesting that this post (what there is of it) is in some sense critical of Coulter. I guess she's gotten so contentious that calling her contentious is contentious! But please don't read too much into my skinny post.
Oh, okay Daniel. I'm sure she didn't say anything regarding race or racial profiling a reasonable person could criticize anyway. Does she ever? She was just contentious. Some people just like to disagree with her--that's all you were saying, not that you agreed or disagreed. Got it.
Of course, in the final analysis the whole question is just not all that important one way or the other anyway. As former Republican House speaker Newt Gingrich put it while discussing the recent health care vote:
"[It's] the most radical social experiment . . . in modern times. ...They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years" with the enactment of civil rights legislation in the 1960s.
Really, think about all the good Democrats could have done if we'd just written off civil rights. The Republicans did, and look at them.