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  • Trusting Each Other

    Posted by Shannon Love on March 23rd, 2008 (All posts by )

    How can you trust someone when they tell you repeatedly that they believe that you are an evil person? How do you trust someone when they tell you repeatedly that you are responsible for all the troubles in their life? How do you trust someone to manage an institution when they repeatedly tell you that they believe the institution an inherently corrupt failure?

    I think this is the core problem that leftist African-American politicians face when trying to gain broad support from white Americans.

    Most leftist African-American politicians build their careers preaching a racialist doctrine which holds the selfish and evil actions of white Americans responsible for all the ills of the African-American community. Although it is expressed in passive voice in such phrases as “America is a racist country” or “institutional racism”, white Americans read the message very clearly: the aggregated individual evil choices of white Americans are the cause of the nation’s problems.

    The vast majority of white Americans believe racism a serious moral failing. They recognize the harm done by racism in the past and believe that racism violates the American ideals of individuality and merit reward. They view the accusation of racism as a very serious matter. When a politician casually and repeatedly accuses them of committing such an evil act, they notice.

    We elect political leaders to represent us. How can a politician claim to honestly represent those in the electorate he believes are evil? Most leftist African-American politicians basically say to white Americans, “I think you are a bad person and you should vote for me so that I can use the violent power of the state to stop you from doing evil.”

    Who would ever vote for that kind of message? Who could ever trust a leader elected upon such a message?

    Americans desperately hunger for a non-white president. Colin Powell could have probably walked into the oval office in 2000 had he wished to. Barack Obama appealed to a broad spectrum of white Americans precisely because he didn’t seem to hold a racialist view of white Americans. He talked of unity and perfecting America instead of calling white Americans evil. White Americans saw Obama as an individual who could represent and lead them.

    Obama’s close association with Rev. Wright may have destroyed his political ambitions by undermining the perception that he is a new kind of African-American politician, who does not see white Americans as evil. It called into question the sincerity of his views about the majority of Americans and American institutions. How can he represent, protect and lead the white Americans that his long-time minister, confidant and mentor sees as evil people?

    Leftist African-Americans like Rev. Wright take it as axiomatic that they cannot trust white Americans due to their evil and corrupt nature. Yet they seem puzzled and angered that white Americans do not trust them in return.

    Trust is a two-way street. To be trusted, one must give trust. Let us hope that one day, those on the Left learn that lesson.

     

    35 Responses to “Trusting Each Other”

    1. renminbi Says:

      Thank-you Shannon for the unusually compelling way you have made the case.

      I think for once in her life we can thank Hillary for something; I am not sure this would have gotten out without her operatives’ help.

    2. capitano Says:

      Americans desperately hunger for a non-white president.

      Hence the call from Obama to ignore the man behind the pulpit, ignore the thin resume, partisan history, and evidence of poor judgment — because we can’t miss this historic opportunity.

      No thanks. I can wait for someone with an actual record of accomplishment, including a demonstrated history of working across party lines for the good of the people. I’m thinking Bobby Jindal in 2012 — in the meantime, all this breathless history-making can wait.

    3. Vince P Says:

      How can you trust someone when they tell you repeatedly that they believe that you are an evil person?

      I have a hard time trusting Leftists too.

    4. Vince P Says:

      Americans desperately hunger for a non-white president.

      What a depressing thing to say. Has the mentality of this country stooped so long that the color of someone’s skin is the most critical attribute in a President? Why does it seem like the people who complain most about wanting a “color-blind” society the same ones who are defining everything by race?

      I would have hoped that Americans would desperately want an ethical and courageous President.

    5. Shannon Love Says:

      Vince P,

      Has the mentality of this country stooped so long that the color of someone’s skin is the most critical attribute in a President?

      I think Americans want a chance to prove wrong those who say they are so blinded by racism that they will vote against someone based solely on race. They want to show that ideology and not racism drives their choice. The only way to do that is to vote for a racial minority candidate who holds the same views as they do.

    6. Vince P Says:

      Shannon: Let me decouple what you said.. from you. I understand you’re just describing a mindset, so my reaction here is to that mindset and not to you:

      My initial reaction to that is “That’s just stupid” I think most people are quite secure in their not being a racist. I think most people are quite “over” the entire thing. i certainly dont feel like I or the country have anythign to prove to anyone. This is the least racist nation on earth and I am not concerned about how the country is viewed. We’ve done enough in our history to say to those who would sit in judgement of us… “Fine… You sacrifice blood and treasure for other peolpe as we have, then you can judge us”

    7. Tatyana Says:

      Most leftist African-American politicians basically say to white Americans, “I think you are a bad person and you should vote for me so that I can use the violent power of the state to stop you from doing evil.”

      Who would ever vote for that kind of message? Who could ever trust a leader elected upon such a message?

      I can easily imagine the kind of person who could.

      White, professional, liberal, urban dweller (lives in mostly-white neighborhood, with small inclusion of Chinese and Indian residents), recycles religiously and reports anyone who isn’t to his condo’ board. Votes Democrat since…forever. Opens his wallet for WWF, black charities, ‘eradicate poverty’ campaigns, etc. Considers him/herself a highly moral person, certainly not a racist. But other white Americans must surely be – otherwise why is still, after 50 years of outreach and investment, so much outrage and cries of hurt are coming from the Black Community?

    8. Shannon Love Says:

      Vince P,

      I agree with what you say. However, I think a lot of people would welcome a chance to make a very dramatic and public demonstration of the commitment to true equality and individualism. I don’t think they will trade much ideologically to do so. Rightist won’t vote for Leftism and Leftist won’t vote for Rightist just to prove themselves non-racist. However, if they can find a candidate who is in their ideological range and a minority I think they use race as a kind of tie breaker. They view the advantages gained by such a demonstration as an acceptable tradeoff for minor ideological differences.

      We have a history of making such minor tradeoffs in our history. It was once a radical idea at various times to vote for someone born poor on the frontier, or to vote for a catholic or a southerner. People often showed a little ideological flexibility to support a candidate based on who they were just to make a point.

      I think a lot of Americans would like the opportunity to make such a demonstration by voting for an African-American candidate. The problem is that African-American politicians who are not out on the moonbat left are rare on the ground. Obama looked like someone that a lot of Americans who would vote left of center anyway could support. Rev, Wright may have torpedoed that.

    9. Shannon Love Says:

      Tatyana,

      There will always be those willing to point to the supposed sins of others as a pretext to dominate them. Such people are by definition minority elitist. They don’t get people elected. You can’t appeal to the majority by blaming majority itself.

    10. Jonathan Says:

      I think a lot of Americans would like the opportunity to make such a demonstration by voting for an African-American candidate. The problem is that African-American politicians who are not out on the moonbat left are rare on the ground. Obama looked like someone that a lot of Americans who would vote left of center anyway could support. Rev, Wright may have torpedoed that.

      I agree. Unfortunately, if Obama is not elected, the Democratic Party leadership may draw the incorrect conclusion that voters are racists rather than the correct conclusion that Obama was a flawed candidate.

    11. Tatyana Says:

      Shannon,
      honestly, I didn’t know till this very minute.
      I just looked up what Kesher Talk had been up to – and they have a perfect illustration to the description I gave above!

      To your comment – yes, you can if you believe the majority is overcome with “white guilt” – and it’s justified.

    12. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Excellent work Shannon. The following link takes a different angle to the same issue.

      The Obama Bargain
      By Shelby Steele
      , a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and the author of “A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can’t Win” (Free Press, 2007).

    13. Shannon Love Says:

      Tayana,

      …yes, you can if you believe the majority is overcome with “white guilt” – and it’s justified.

      I think that only works up to a point. People might vote for a small scale politician out of quilt but they won’t place their loved ones safety in someone’s hands just because they feel guilty.

      Of course, racialism becomes its own self-fulfilling model. Believing most white Americans to be racist, they insult them which leads white Americans not to trust them enough to vote them into office. Racialist then attribute that to racism which confirms their biases.

    14. Tyouth Says:

      “I think Americans want a chance to prove wrong those who say they are so blinded by racism that they will vote against someone based solely on race. They want to show that ideology and not racism drives their choice. The only way to do that is to vote for a racial minority candidate who holds the same views as they do.”

      Wow. I hope, as a group we’re not so shallow in our morals that we need the validation of “proving something” with respect to race. I’m rather insulted.

      Who, exactly, would we be impressing? Politically correct, guilt-ridden, bleeding heart libs perhaps? I mean, anyone that does need “impressing” hasn’t noticed the changing American scene with respect to race in the last fifty years. That person is so out of touch with reality that he would have to be either stupid, or stoned, or trying to make radical racial political hay (Rev. Wright, Jessie Jackson, etc.). Impressing the stupid and stoned would be a waste of time and impressing the racist politicos would be impossible.

    15. Ginny Says:

      Tyouth,

      Shannon describes my feelings and I doubt they are unusual.

      I laughed out loud with pleasure at Instapundit’s note yesterday (uniter not a divider) when I followed the link to Protein Wisdom, who said: “According to a new poll by InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion, 82% knew about the controversy surrounding Barack Obama’s relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Obama’s speech about race in America. Of those who knew about the controversy and the speech, 52% said it made them less likely to vote for him. Moreover, 56% of blacks said the speech made them less likely to vote for him.” Only later did I pause to think that perhaps that 56% didn’t like it for a different (or the opposite) reason I found it wanting. I hope not.

      I listen to commentators who don’t strike me as idiots describing his speech and I can see what attracts them, I just don’t understand how they were able to turn off their minds and ignore the real as opposed to the symbolic content. The symbolic content is like those old WWII movies with the lifeboat representatives of a variety of ethnicities and classes; it is the pleasure I get from the pledge of allegiance and singing of the “Star Spangled Banner” at the local Czech ethnic club meetings. The great division between black and white seems bridged in the person of an amiable, mixed race motivational speaker.

      I don’t see it as a negative what such a presidency would tell the outside world. For one thing, it would tell them a truth. Besides, the argument of the city on the hill was that it was our job to present an example – and of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address to make that example an argument for a political vision.

      Unfortunately, of course, the symbolic breaks down in the speech. Instead of addressing the superstitious and divisive myths Wright spreads (and to act as if whites should understand that is what blacks think – as if the truth of the matters has nothing to do with how much we should sympathize with such men as Wright) Obama’s speech moved over into race in its most manipulative way. A white has trouble making an argument if he is told he just doesn’t understand. Making the discussion about race he didn’t have to face the reasons many of us don’t trust him. I remember a time when the Weathermen were considered marginal; now they are advisors and principle fundraisers. The allusion to McCarthyism reminds us that it was a CP member who interpreted his grandmother’s fear of threatening young men at her bus stop for Obama; it reminds us that he uses eight flags behind him in this address and stood uneasy on a stage when others turned to salute the flag. We wonder how someone uneasy with the customs that show respect for our country can feel easy representing it. And his speech and thinking is in terms of class warfare – and most of us realize the last thing we (or any country) needs is a little more polished Chavez, a little more sophisticated Mugabe.

      And some of us, at least for me, are just uneasy at the thought that this symbolic good has been raised above rationality and is “certified” by the kind of behavior we would be uncomfortable with at church, aimed at a higher presence.

      But, Shannon is right. I would have liked Obama to have that same symbolic value and to also have policies that matched that symbolic presence – not race against race and not class against class. I certainly would have liked him to be less of a light-weight, less of a leftist, less of a whiner.

    16. Vince P Says:

      I wonder if this is a generational thing.

      I realize asking a lady for her age is very impolite. So let me put it this way…

      I was in 1974, so I’m probably a generation or two behind the Hippies…

      Ginny/Shannon: what generation are you from?

      My theory is, that people of my generation or younger grew up in a political correct world (or PC sprang to life during our youths.. as it did in my youth in the mid 80s).. we already accept the non-racist imperative. we dont need to prove anything because we were never “guilty” of doing it.

      I suspect you ladies are on the planet a little bit longer and have a different perspective?

      I hope I didn’t come off the wrong way :)

    17. Vince P Says:

      I was *BORN* in 1974

    18. Tyouth Says:

      “I would have liked Obama to have that same symbolic value and to also have policies that matched that symbolic presence….”

      Yes, Ginny, I have to admit, I to would have liked that more. Now he looks like something of a crypto racist.

      He was a community organizer. He would have done better, in the last couple of decades, to have brought about some CHANGE in his community by educating the folks on the south side about the economic realities of successful working class people in this country. Instead, one assumes, he went along with the machine and the racist viewpoint (for political gain or because he had no problem with it?) which is poison to young black (and white) culture in his, or any, town.

      Vince, 1950 here.

    19. Vince Says:

      I would like to know what a “community organizer” actually does.

      Now if whe think in terms of who his associates are down there in Hyde Park and the people in power/authority that any effective “community organizer” must deal with, then I’m sure he’s engaged in plenty of corruption.

    20. Ginny Says:

      Vince: I’m old, you are right about that – born in 1945.
      On the other hand, it is your generation that literally swoons at Obama rallies. One advantage of age is our context (EST, Black Panthers, SANE meetings).

    21. Vince P Says:

      No one I know in my circle thinks we have anything to prove to any country about race or whatnot.

      I just dont know anyone that speaks that way. And the only people I do see/hear who do seem to be older.

      Of course I dont hang around college people.. For some reason I’m just not impressed with people who are in univeristies.. it seems like they’re actually getting dumber the longer they’re in one.

      I couldn’t imagine being in some universities today. I was listening to a mp3 of a lecture someone gave at George Washington University about the need to destroy Islamic Totalarianism.. and I think 75% of the audience was the thugs that Left wing groups and the MSA sent.

      I fear for the future nothing is stopping this expanding irrationality.

    22. Shannon Love Says:

      Vince P,

      Based on your explanation of your personal experience, I can only conclude that you don’t spend a lot of time interacting with Leftist or reading their arguments.

      Within Leftist circles, the drumbeat that America is an irrationally racist society who will reject competent non-white people for position in the public and private spheres is constant and omnipresent. Leftist accuse everyone who agrees with them on anything, social programs, crime, defense, the environment etc. of doing so out of racism.

      It’s very annoying and insulting. Worse, its corrosive to our civic debate and society. Leftist claim that all problems in the lives of minority individuals ultimately devolve from the racism of white people. This belief insulates them tackling the real problems. We can disprove the accusation that race is a determining factor by voting for a minority candidate and basically poke a stick in the eye of those who accuse us by doing the one thing they argue we won’t do.

      However, people won’t sacrifice their core ideological beliefs to accomplish that. Ultimately, politics is to important to select leaders just to make a point. People want a minority candidate who is at least a centrist.

    23. Lexington Green Says:

      What a community organizer actually does.

    24. Vince P Says:

      >Based on your explanation of your personal experience, I can only conclude that you don’t spend a lot of time interacting with Leftist or reading their arguments.

      I dont have much exposure to them in the real world. I have more than enough contact with them on-line. They’re getting more and more irrational as time goes on.. in my experience.

    25. Jonathan Says:

      Lex, a most interesting document. More a guerrilla-warfare manual than handbook of persuasion. Notice (do a text search) how many times the word “enemy” appears.

    26. Lexington Green Says:

      Community organizing is activism, and direct action, not persuasion. I have friends who and acquaintances who are involved in this community, particularly people who have been associated with the National Training and Information Center.

      Referring to the party and individuals targeted for direct action as “the enemy” is the usual custom and practice. The point is not to persuade, it is to intimidate and compel acceptance to the organizations goals.

      This is a very large and organized community, perhaps the true heart of the modern American Left. It has deep roots in Chicago, where it was invented in its modern form by Saul Alinsky. If our site had an evil Leftist twin, Alinsky would necessarily be in the pantheon at the top of the page. Furthermore, these groups are not always wrong, especially in Chicago, where I know something about their activities. When they are protesting rotten provision of city services to minority neighborhoods, for example, they are often exactly right. And the dramatic methods they use probably are the only way to get any attention and any prospect of change to the situation.

      A certain undergraduate named Hillary Rodham wrote her BA thesis about Alinsky. And, of course, Obama is product of this community.

    27. Jonathan Says:

      Yes, they help to make the trains run on time. Otherwise they wouldn’t get far with the people whom they are supposedly serving. Elected pols such as the Daleys do the same. One difference, however, is that the voters can fire the pols. The activists, not relying on votes or tax-funded salaries, are less accountable.

    28. Lexington Green Says:

      Activists require enthusiasm, and groups of people to actually show up. So, they are less accountable in a technical sense than a politician who can be voted out. But they can only function if they are (1) good at organizing, i.e. possess leadership qualities, and (2) tap into some genuine source of indignation. If you hold a demo and no one shows up, it is pretty embarrassing.

      While I don’t like the atmospherics, or a lot of the Leftish “theorizing” amongst this community, most of what they do amounts in the end to aggressively exercised free speech.

      The Right could learn a thing of two from them. The one group which is in some sense “on the right”, though actually sui generis which seems to have absorbed some of these lessons is the Pro-Life Movement. The appearance of “counter-demonstrations” in support of our troops may be the beginning of a shift. This part of the “expressive spectrum” has been conceded totally to the Left for too long. Street theatre and protests can work just as well for either side, if the issues are suited to it and if there is a critical mass of pissed off people.

    29. fred.lapides Says:

      why the bother? no one here would vote for a Democrat. why the justification? In fact, I vote for the guy that Falwell and Robertson support\ becuse they have love and not hatred for any one or group.

    30. Shannon Love Says:

      Fred Lapides,

      why the bother? no one here would vote for a Democrat. why the justification?

      I wasn’t creating a justification for why I wasn’t voting for Obama. As you point out, he is to far to the left to attract my support. Instead, I sought to explain why the association with a racialist demagogue hurts Obama so badly. More generally, I wanted to demonstrate why African-American and other minority candidates have trouble appealing to whites.

      People have to trust politicians to a certain minimal degree and repeatedly telling someone you think they are evil is not the way to go about it.

    31. Ed Wallis Says:

      “Obama’s close association with Rev. Wright may have destroyed his political ambitions by undermining the perception that he is a new kind of African-American politician, who does not see white Americans as evil.”

      “Guilt by Association”? NO.

      OBAMA DESTROYED HIMSELF…with HIS OWN WORDS (“typical white person”, “Original Sin of slavery”, etc. etc.) and HIS OWN ACTIONS (staying 20 years in this church, exposing his children to the anti-American and racist Pastor’s words).

    32. RA Says:

      Racial division is the real agenda of most blacks and most Democrats. It has worked for 50 years for Democrats. Its time for the Obamas and the Wrights to go the way of the KKK. Democrats aren’t ready for that.

      All Americans who really want racial healing should vote Democrats out of office until they expunge the anti-white racists that they have been sucking up to for 50 years.

    33. Anonymous Says:

      “Shannon love

      I think Americans want a chance to prove wrong those who say they are so blinded by racism that they will vote against someone based solely on race. ”

      That’s what they count on – the whole idea of political correctness is to use people’s pride as a weapon of censorship.Wait till Obama has to go against McCain- we haven’t seen the race weapon used yet. They’ll have to include women as victims of MCcain’s sexism somehow to get the tag off of Obama.

      They have no issues other than the same old leftist warmed over stew, hence, they must -repeat must- use personal attacks to degrade their opponents. What better personal attack than to call someone a racist. The only defense is to say the hell with pride and attack them as the true racists and Godless socialists they are. Courage is not a common character trait in out GOP though. McCain won’t get down and dirty with anybody but his conservative base.

    34. Rick LaBonte Says:

      Being a typical white person, I am not allowed to express an opinion regarding blacks because I will immediately be labeled a racist. Therefore I have nothing to say to blacks in the way of politics. I loathe the Democrat party, I have no respect for the Republican party, as a european-american male, I am totally alienated from the American political system. In a way, I agree with Obama’s pastor. America can go to hell as far as I am concerned, and from the looks of cities like Detroit, much of America already has, and the liberal politicians seem to be doing their damndest to have the rest of America catch up.

    35. Tyouth Says:

      ….I will immediately be labeled a racist. Therefore I have nothing to say to blacks in the way of politics. ….

      Me either: except that Bill Cosby has what I think is the answer for the black community (that has the stew of low inheritance -culturally and economically- combined with population growth). A realistic cultural that nurtures strong people is required. Africanists, apologists, bleeding hearts, muslims, revolutionaries, hiphoppers, etc. won’t help.