dDemocrats And Race - Road to the Middle Class - by Christopher Chantrill
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Democrats and Race

by Christopher Chantrill
March 24, 2008 at 9:27 pm

ONE OF THE things we conservatives constantly try to do is step out of the default liberal mindset.

It’s hard to do, even as a conservative, because liberalthink defines reality in America. To think another way requires real effort, especially for a social animal like homo sapiens.

Liberals all seem to think that Barack Obama’s speech last week was at the least a fine and principled contribution to America’s conversation on race and maybe much more. Conservatives tend to be disappointed. We wonder if Obama couldn’t have seized the opportunity and really declared for a post-racist America.

But maybe the big issue is what Obama’s candidacy is doing for race relations within the Democratic Party. The Washington Post’s Krissah Williams writes about veterans hanging out at two American Legion posts in Pennsylvania, one predominantly black, and one predominantly white.

[I]n the two worlds of these veterans, Obama’s speech was one more dividing point. Rather than bringing the men in Post 733 and Post 420 closer together, it seemed to highlight the gap between them.

White Air Force veteran Dan Dowett talks about Obama backing “a preacher that to me sounds like a treasonous person.” Black Army veteran Ross Mounds says “the controversy over Wright is just the excuse some whites are looking for not to vote for a qualified black man.”

Then there’s the view from other voters. Victor Davis Hanson asked several non-black voters what they thought of Obama’s speech last week. The reaction was significant.

“Forget the speech. I would never vote for Obama after listening to Wright.” In some cases, the reaction was not mild disappointment, but unprintable outrage.

The question is whether the liberal narrative on race really matters any more. Obama’s speech, to one liberal acquaintance, was

the best from a politician on race in a generation. He dispansionately [sic] examined interiors and exteriors of both whites and blacks.

As a conservative I would say that Obama mouthed liberal pieties, trashing the white working class and excusing black racism.

It is, of course, the white working class that has been asked to pay the most for the liberal race politics of the last half century, whether it was forced busing, integration of ethnic neighborhoods, or affirmative action at the firehouse. Educated whites might get knocked around a bit by the lefty profs in university, but they could always escape from liberal race politics by going into business and living in white middle-class suburbs.

Suppose that Rev. Wright turns out to be the last straw for the white working class?

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


 TAGS


Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures


German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Knowledge

Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill