I don’t update The Meme Collection too often anymore aside from an occasional tweak here and there. When I first started it back in the summer of 2009, I wanted to create a clearinghouse for the kinds of ideas conservatives and libertarians use to articulate their anti-social justice messages. I obviously wasn’t using “meme” in the way the Internet has embraced it, but it seemed an appropriate word for the the underlying themes that inform privileged arguments. The message transforms and gets passed around, but the substance of the meme doesn’t change much.
I’ve noticed that the memes ebb and flow, and lately a few memes have reemerged as quite prominent talking points, particularly among Tea Party conservatives around race. In an attempt to reject accusations of racism, conservative leaders like Glenn Beck and Joseph Farah of World Net Daily have embraced an addictive new blend of the “Reverse Discrimination“, “Colorblind,” and “Friend/Expert” memes that only accentuates their white privilege.
It looks like this: You call us racist? We support all people, and the proof is that people of color stand with us. We are the ones under attack by your false accusations! You’re the racists.
Two weeks ago, I got an email from Joseph Farah entitled, “Have Dems re-enslaved blacks?” He quoted Kevin Jackson of the Black Conservative Coalition defending the Tea Party, claiming that reducing the size of government would amount to “another Emancipation Proclamation” and “This time, even the white folks get freed.”
Farah goes onto say that affirmative action has hurt blacks because their promotions no longer have to do with merit “welfare-style redistribution schemes” have hurt blacks by creating greater dependency and less self-reliance; and that all of the accusations of racism demonstrate that the word is losing its power and meaning.
Essentially, he’s trying to blame the left for racism. He wants the black community to see conservatives as allies but wants the white conservatives to feel like the real victims because of how their precious money has been wasted. After you make sense of his motives, his words become that much more obvious:
In many ways today the black community is less functional than it was during the worst days of the Jim Crow era. Back then, the family structure – the very building block of community – was still intact. Today, the white family is disintegrating the way the black family did following the manipulations of paternalistic government policies.
In effect, it seems, the Democrats, “progressives” and leftists are trying to put whites in bondage to them and government the way they re-enslaved blacks.
It’s absurd, and of course he’s still hawking that preposterous “Negrophilia” book I wrote about before, which is the epitome of the Expert meme: a black man making money off the black community by throwing them under the bus for the rich whites.
Last week, I got a promotion for World Net Daily’s Whistleblower magazine, entitled “Obama and the New Racism.” Echoing Glenn Beck’s accusations of Obama’s racism, this magazine tests the limits of the Reverse Discrimination meme. The first nine words of the promo should be a huge red flag:
America – without question the least racist nation on earth – is witnessing an outrageous upsurge in hardcore racism during the administration of Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president.
Yeah. The United States set the bar high with its truth and reconciliation commissions. Blacks, Latinos, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans have full respect and equality, Central American immigrants are perfectly welcome, and Middle Easterners are just as free to worship anywhere as any other group. Right.
And Joseph Farah has no hesitation when it comes to showing that he has no clue what social justice is about:
Martin Luther King Jr., dreamed of a colorblind America.
Ummmm… no. That’s what white people who don’t want their white privilege called into question dream of.
Whistleblower’s editor, David Kupelian, really steps in it with an irony too genius even for him to see:
We’re witnessing today a textbook example of the rotten totalitarian tactic called,‘Accuse others of the evil you do.’ Thus, not only do the Obama administration and its media propagandists accuse good and decent Americans of being racists just because they object to having their country stolen. But those currently in power – in pursuit of the twisted Marxist notion of ‘social justice’ – have adopted an utterly racist modus operandi for running the affairs of the nation. This betrayal of the dream of Martin Luther King, and of all decent Americans, is a story that needs to be told.
They’re pissed that whites don’t have as much power as they used to, but that doesn’t make them racist! In case you weren’t sure, both Farah and Kupelian are quite white.
Glenn Beck recently “amended” his comment about Obama being racist; Beck now says that Obama practices “liberation theology.” Given how little Obama has actually talked about his own faith, this seems to be quite a stretch, and honestly just another codeword for “Marxist.” (At least liberation theology is Christian, not Muslim.)
Beck’s recent Restoring Honor rally showed just how prevalent the “Colorblind” and “Friend/Expert” memes are becoming. Much of the message of the day was sugar-coated in platitudes about freedom for all. Of course, you have a bunch of white people there to say something needs fixed restored, so it’s a tricky message to navigate. It helps them, though, to have folks like “Dr.” Alveda King there to disgrace the work and words of her uncle. A quisling if ever there were one, she gives the Tea Party a false sense of validation, just because they have one more black person speaking on their behalf. They never point out that all the black people who speak on their behalf (Alveda King, Kevin Jackson, Erik Rush, etc.) all make tons of money for what they say.
In fact, the few black people that show are celebrated at Tea Party events, because the white people are just that insecure that they might be racist. Take a look at this clip:
At the end of the day, there are several serious problems with this approach. First, it’s white people saying they understand race relations better than anybody else. I’ll admit that I’m a white person talking about race, but I’m not trying to tell people of color what their experience is; I’m telling other white people how wrong they are. Second, it’s a painting of race as a white-black issue, ignoring all the inherent racism in the Tea Party’s immigration platform and libertarian politics in general. Third, it continues the distortion of white privilege and the enabling of real racism in our country.
The only way to counter this nonsense is with education. Privilege is not easy to understand nor can it even be fun to talk about. Nevertheless, we must try to make clear the hurt that Tea Party racism causes. I hope that my little Meme Collection can be helpful in this regard.
As far as I’m concerned, America is still one of the most racist countries on earth.