Wednesday, May 13, 2015

For my fellow leftists who think most or all conservatives are racist

In the '50s and '60s, it was fairly safe to assume that the more conservative someone was, the more racist someone was. After Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam, he said, "It’s impossible for a white person to believe in capitalism and not believe in racism. You can’t have capitalism without racism. And if you find one and you happen to get that person into conversation and they have a philosophy that makes you sure they don’t have this racism in their outlook, usually they’re socialists or their political philosophy is socialism."

But some things have changed in fifty years. In 2013, 87% of Americans approved of Black-White marriage, vs. 4% in 1958. In 2011, Herman Cain was the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for President until he was derailed for the same thing that took down Gary Hart and many other white politicians, allegations of infidelity.

Because I follow my conservative sister-in-law on Facebook, I see her sharing posts about her favorite candidate, Ben Carson, who is not a frontrunner like Cain (probably because he isn't as rich as Cain), but is doing well in the Republican polls. She and my brother have interracial grandkids who they adore. She's fond of Christian memes about how all races are one.

Calling people like my conservative relatives racists is not just rude. Because it's inaccurate, it casts doubt on anything else you might say.

And, yes, as my regular readers know (and are probably tired of hearing), I know all about Critical Race Theory and intersectionality and similar ideas promoted by liberals of color. But as a socialist, I have to look critically at ideas promoted by capitalists, conservative and liberal, regardless of their race. I end up agreeing with Adolph Reed Jr.'s short bit of required reading for anyone interested in contemporary liberal race theory, The limits of anti-racism.