Am I a racist?
I’m told that I am. In fact, since I’ve always been a conservative, I have always been called racist…by people I have never met nor will ever meet.
As a matter of fact, the first time racism was employed as a national political tactic was in the 1964 presidential elections because Barry Goldwater, the Republican candidate, was a conservative, and since racist Democrats had also promoted conservative values, he had to be a racist. Speaking of racist Democrats, at the same time Goldwater was campaigning, Democrats were fighting the Civil Rights Act, and the newly elected Alabama governor, Democrat George Wallace, was giving his “Segregation Forever” speech.
George Wallace’s speech is instructive and germane to the “Am I a racist?” question for a couple of reasons.
First, it is instructive of what real racism looks like. Real racism isn’t disagreeing with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Ilhan Omar (if that in fact is her real name). It isn’t calling for lower taxes and smaller government. It isn’t stating that reparations are unwarranted and unworkable. It’s not calling for border security or voter ID.
It is thinking and acting as if a particular race is superior to another based on nothing but skin color and instituting policies that reflect those views.
Secondly, if you look at Wallace’s speech, there are many conservative points in there — individual liberty, states’ right to determine their own fates, free market, limited government, faith in God — but none of the conservative principles in Wallace’s diatribe is racist in nature. They do not require a person to believe in the supremacy of the white race, to force blacks or other minorities to be discriminated against or oppressed, or for anyone to propose or enact race-based laws or regulations. They are the principles our nation was founded upon and anodyne, innocuous, with respect to race.
Because racism is not a required part of conservative ideals, that means they are “severable” from Wallace’s racist ideological position. Severability is a legal term that means that those aspects of Wallace’s speech are capable of being divided into legally independent rights or obligations.
The fact remains that without the leadership of Republican Senator Everett Dirksen, the Civil Rights Act would not have passed. Democrat Senator Robert Byrd filibustered the bill. As to the votes, in the Senate, 82% of Republicans voted for the bill vs. 69% of the Democrats. Similarly, in the House, 80% of the Republican representatives voted in favor vs. 63% of Democrats.
It is this time period on which the Democrats focus when they try to make the “parties switched positions” argument when the racist positions and actions of the Democratic Party are brought up. There is some truth to that assertion – but the “switch” was Republicans taking the conservative positions from the Democrats while leaving the racist ideology behind for the Democrats to keep — which they have as the constructed the welfare “plantation” of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” programs.
So the scoreboard indicates that Democrats have been calling Republicans racists for at least the last 55 years, yet slavery has not been reinstated (although being trapped in welfare is a lot like it), and no rights have been taken from blacks and other minorities. Something like $22 trillion (yes, trillion with a “t”) has been spent on anti-poverty programs, and the ticket for all welfare programs comes to around $50 trillion. No class of minority citizen has been denied the right to vote, to free speech, to bear arms, or to peaceably assemble — none of the Constitution has been suspended for any race. None – and conservative principles are responsible for the lowest minority unemployment in the history of the nation.
The only conclusion I can draw is that I am most definitely not a racist. If I am, I’m clearly the worst racist in the history of racism.