Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The race baiter is as guilty as the one who pulls the trigger

On September 2, 2008, a Philadelphia journalist named Fatima Ali wrote a warning that, if America didn’t choose Barack Obama as president, there would be a “full-fledged race war”. I wrote a short piece about that, saying in essence that the term she chose could not be interpreted in any way other than to suggest that violence was inevitable.

Her choice of language caused a great deal of outrage, which she addresses in an article today. And, as I had predicted, she now is trying to sound much more reasonable, and say that all the extremely foul responses she received is evidence that “we don’t have to wait until after the election for a race war. We’re in one now.”

She then goes on to cherry pick from among the most extreme responses she got in order to qualify her assertion that angry whites are already starting a race war.

The absurdity of this situation is simultaneously hilarious and alarming. It was not Whites who threatened Blacks with violence; it was a Black columnist who fired the first verbal salvo. It was a classic example of race baiting, and what a manipulative act of propaganda it is! For this woman to proclaim “I hate violence, but I do see a growing wave of intolerance sweeping the nation”, and threaten not once but twice with a race war, to be surprised that Whites would feel threatened and respond with a warning of their own (that they are ready to defend themselves) is either the stupidest journalistic blunder I’ve ever seen, or the most cynical attempt to provoke a violent reaction.

She goes on to say:

“No, we're not anywhere near "post-racial" times. If we were, the possibility
that a black man may well become our next president wouldn't matter.”

I feel obliged to write Ms Ali directly.

Fatima, why can’t you understand that for the vast majority of Americans, Obama’s race is not the issue; it’s the issue that you make of his race and the threats that you made that is the issue! Whites are nauseated by being told that if they don’t vote for a Black candidate, that it is because they are racist. Extremists like you leave no room for the possibility that your candidate is simply too inexperienced, too socialist, has too many friendships with extremists who hate the country, for us to simply vote him into office and just keep our fingers crossed that it will all work out.
And instead of giving us the benefit of the doubt, that just maybe those of us who vote for McCain want him for his experience, you instead assume the very worst about us and then threaten us—and by extension, our families—with a war based solely on race!

Your final sentence in the article pretty much sums up the idiocy of the position:

“And two words out of 775 in my original column would not have unleashed the
kind of hatred that makes me want to retreat to a bunker.”

Was it not your own beloved Barack Obama who said: “Just words! ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident’, Just words! ‘I have a dream’.” If you admire Obama so much, did you learn nothing from that speech, in which he was illustrating the importance of choosing your words carefully?
Two words? Just two little words? No, my dear, it was the intention, and the threat, behind the words, that caused the reaction. You issued the incendiary comments. You cannot blame the reaction on others. It's exactly like yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater, and then denying responsibility by declaring the panicked crowd to be fools.

If you really do “hate violence”, then it would have behooved you to write a piece that was a mea culpa, instead of issuing a second challenge.

If Obama loses this race—which it appears he may do—and there really is violence, you need to say a prayer from inside your bunker, and ask for forgiveness, because at least some of the blood will be on your hands! Because the one who used race to bait for violent reactions is just as guilty as the people who actually pull the trigger.

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