I watched Juan Williams the other night on some Fox show (I think it was Hannity). He's a liberal, but he's typically been someone who says good things (he and Bill Cosby have given talks together about personal responsibility in the black community). So while Williams approaches problems from a different angle than I do, I expect him to speak rationally and seriously.
He said that racism is at the heart of the right's disagreement with Obama.
I didn't know whether to be disappointed or angry; I was certainly shocked. It's the oddest thing to go through life thinking that you're doing your best to judge folks on the content of their characters and not the color of their skin and to suddenly be informed that the political views that you've held--well, since a white guy was at the head of the Democratic Party--are actually racist.
There aren't too many things more universally decried in this country than racism. Everyone except the unhinged believes that racism is wrong. Oh, I'm not saying it doesn't exist. But I don't know anyone who would say racist things out loud and not be called on it--and I live in the heart of Dixie. It's no longer socially acceptable (thank God). To be labeled a racist has been a damning, destructive thing--something that any right-thinking person would go out of his way to avoid.
But you know what? I'm starting to not care. I'm starting to wonder if most of the racism in this country these days isn't coming from a nontraditional direction. And it's like the boy who cried wolf--keep labeling decent folk racists and pretty soon nobody's going to blink when an actual racist comes along and the left tries to point him out.
In fact, all of this hoopla about Tea Partiers being racists has made me want to join the movement even more. It's just one more thing that ticks me off--and I've decided not to take any of this lying down. I'm not a racist and I would defy anyone to produce a shred of evidence that I am, so I'm digging in my heels this time.
The left has over played its hand. Cries of racism have worked in the past, so it was natural that they'd try them again. But this time they've painted with too broad a brush and the label won't stick.