Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Playing The Race Card-- Terrorism?

"There are many who lust for the simple answers of doctrine or decree. They are on the left and right. They are not confined to a single part of the society. They are terrorists of the mind." - Angelo Bartlett Giamatti

In my previous post, I made the assertion that U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney (D) GA. is a racist because, among other things, she played the so-called "race card". Dan Trabue, a frequent commentator, posted the following comment in response:

"Certainly, anyone can be racist - black, white or color of your choice. I'm not disputing that.

What I am disputing is the notion that "playing the race card" is racist. It's not.

It may be wrong, or a bad idea, or it may even be right, but it is not racism. Racism is, "the believe that a particular race is superior to others."

By "playing the race card," she is not asserting that her race is superior to others. What she may be saying is that she's paranoid, or that she's had a history of being unfairly singled out by whites (and, thus, it can be understood why she'd be sensitive), or that she's being politically manipulative.

She is not, however, being racist.

Words have meanings."



I answered his response with a rather unconvincing weak response that didn't really address itself to the comment. So, this morning, I decided to respond to it further. After typing several paragraphs, I realized that I had much more to say on the subject. So, instead of leaving my response in the comments section, I decided to create a whole new post.

Here is my response:

Dan, I maintain that the very act of playing the so-called race card in this, as well as most other situations, is an act of overt racism in itself. Not only do I see that as racism in itself, I also maintain that playing the race card can also be considered an act of psychological terrorism, as well.

You might well ask, "How could playing the race card be an act of terrorism?"

I will tell you. To begin with, Webster's dictionary defines terrorism as "the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion".

Since the race card was first played as part of the defense in the O.J. Simpson trial, well-meaning people, including Senators, Congressmen, and even the President have been seen scrambling to avoid being labeled as racist.

People who are not in the least racists. People who find racism abhorrent.

For Cynthia McKinney and Johnny Cochran and others to continually play the race card in defense of indefensible actions, from the brutal murder of two people to the simple overreaction of a volatile Congresswoman, is not only reprehensible, but a blatant accusation that is intended to back people down and away from the base issue.

It is the text book definition of terrorism.

As soon as racism is mentioned we tend to object strenuously and stammer and stutter in an effort to distance ourselves from that label. None of us want to be labeled as racist.

That is terrifying.

I myself denied for a long time that I was racist, but in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I went through an introspection of my own, and ultimately decided that I was no longer racist. Hurricane Katrina forced me to re-examine my views on racism, and I decided to change my viewpoint.

As a result of playing the race card, we who have exorcised the demon of racism from our souls, are challenged to re-evaluate our position, and it terrorizes us to think that anyone would stoop to accusing us of the kind of ignorance and bigotry that the image of racism invokes. And then we back off immediately and acquiesce to the accusers in an effort to avoid the stigma of being labeled a racist. With Congressmen and Senators, specifically, this can be a career killer, and they know it.

In order to distance ourselves from being labeled racists, we find that we have been coerced into keeping silent, rather than reaching the correct conclusions based on factual evidence.

That is the textbook definition of terrorism.

13 comments:

Erudite Redneck said...

I think you need to think about this some more. A lot more. I'm not saying I think you're wrong. I'm saying I can't even tell whether I think you're right or wrong because you're not making sense. You KNOW I'm wired to disagree with you. :-) But I can't because you've left me flummoxed.

What in the world are you trying to say?

Dan Trabue said...

Terrorism?

What a strange little world you live in.

Mark said...

Exactly what part do you not understand? I use the word, "terrorism" in the exact same way that John Kerry used it, when he described American soldierm of breaking in the doors of innocent Iraqi's and "terrorizing" women and children. I wam one of very few Conservatrives that didn't object to that particular characterization. Because in the way he meant it, he was accurate.

Playing the race card frightens and coerces non-racists into backing off and dropping charges in legal matterm in which people like Ms. McKinney and O.J. Simpson are involved, for fear of being labeled racists. Fear being the operative word. the word "Fear" is synonymous with the word, "terror".

It is the charge of racism that intimidates people who see a non-racially motivated crime or incident into not challenging the riduculous accusation of racism, where there is none.

Erudite Redneck said...

People might silence themselves in the face of others who play the "race card." But that's not terrorism. The one forcing silence or acquiesence is oneself. Words alone, minus the threat to do real harm, cannot be terrorism.

You know, I hate the way Bush et al., have watered down the concept of terrorism, as well as the concept of "treason" to mean anything they don't like to hear others say.

And now you've started doing it, too. Are y'all all on the same Listserv or something?

If I were your college freshman English teacher or government teacher, I'd send it back and require you to think it through more thoroughly. You've got the nut of an idea in here: Race-baiting is wrong. But race-baiting is not racism; sometimes it's just opportunism; and it's not terrorism, because the recipient of communication -- and that's what you're talking about, not actual threats to do actual harm --is the one who decides how to react to others' words.

ELAshley said...

Does anyone remember when 2 people we're killed at the Capitol trying to get to Tom Delay's office? One was a Capitol Police Officer and the other was a member of Delay's security personnel. Of course Capitol Police attempted to detain someone they didn't immediately recognize, who skirted security!!

Ms. McKinney is merely trying to use racism to divert attention from her current lapse of judgement. And astonishingly, the Left seems desperate to both rationalize Ms. McKinney's actions, or distance themselves altogether. Talk about mixed messages!

Words DO have meanings. How rational of Mr. Trabue to point this out to us. Mr. Trabue's brand of Rationalism may be the death of us all... far too many people are infected with it, and I fear this nation will not recover.

Great post, btw. I have to take issue with one point however:

Johnnie Cochran isn't continually playing any card at present, as he died a year ago, March 29, 2005 of a brain tumor.

But I know what you meant... and I agree.

tugboatcapn said...

Mark, I understood you perfectly.

Any mention of Race in today's political environment immediately ends the discussion because of the fear of the "Racist" label.

That is using fear for the purpose of political manipulation, and that is Terrorism. (Of a sort.)

Here is the deal.

If it is wrong to use Racism to keep another race down, then it is also wrong to use Racism, or even accusations of Racism to provide one race with an unfair advantage over another.

Either we are striving for a color-blind society, or we are not.

In Black Female Congresswoman McKinney's case, the race of the participants has nothing to do with anything.

She attacked a Capitol Police Officer, who was engaged in the performance of his duty, which was to verify the identity of everyone who entered that building.

She should be punished just the same as anyone off the street who assaults a Police Officer.

Focusing on Race just muddies the water. (Which was Black Female Congresswoman McKinney's intention all along.)

Dan Trabue said...

A quick question: Do you consider the bombing of Hiroshima an act of terrorism?

Goat said...

The antics of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton could be argued for years, terrorism, nah, bigoted racism, yes. There is no reason to blow it up in the media.

ELAshley said...

For myself, I do believe Hiroshima was an act of terrorism. And I'm not surprised we didn't stop there. Perhaps the conversation went somewhat like this:

Military Official 1: That was COOL!!!

Military Official 2: WAY cool!

Military Official 3: Mui cool, Muchachos. Let's do it again!

Poison Pero said...

Racism = Dumbassism

McKinney = Dumbass

Therefore: McKinney = Racist

Sometimes the obvious is the best definition.
----------
No matter what the definition is, McKinney is an embarrassment, and even her own party is turning it's back on her........Which is saying a lot, because no one circles the wagons as well or often as the Democrat Party.

Here's hoping she goes on a crusade with this issue, and brings along some of her closest friends in Congress.......I'm sure such a quest would play out well in the court of public opinion.

Have at it Rep. McKrazy. Give 'em Hell!

Poison Pero said...

Hey ER, why you busting balls?

Come visit some time......We can always use a little shakeup in Peroville.

Christian Pundits said...

According to Dictionary.com, racism can be defined as...

"The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others."

Sounds eerily similar to the beliefs held by terrorists to me.

Marie's Two Cents said...

That is a very interesting point of view Mark, and worth debating and looking into.
Consider yourself linked, crossposted, or whatever you call it.
Personaly I think McKinney has a screw loose!