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HBO: Bill, one can't pick minorities' "side" when one denies the Left's lie of a racial war

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Posted on July 27 2009 9:22 pm
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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With  a news week like the one we’ve had, it was obvious that premium cable talk show host Bill Maher had to have been licking his chops. The arrest of African-American scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and its ensuing controversy offered plenty of opportunity for satire.

Maher often opens his programs with topical joke commercials. This week’s commercial advertised a home security system designed to protect one’s home from black intellectuals:

“Gates Home Security: When Black Intellectuals Strike, We Take Affirmative Action.”

The clip mentioned socialist Michael Eric Dyson, Marxist Cornel West, broadcaster Tavis Smiley, pro-Castro Calypso singer Harry Belafonte, and left-wing actor Danny Glover. For good measure, it threw in such Republicans as Michael Steele and Colin Powell. Alas, no mention of Thomas Sowell. Perhaps he made it under the security system’s radar, thus making scared whites vulnerable to the “dangerous” ideas of his book Black Rednecks and White Liberals, an appropriate volume to consider given the story of the day.

The opening sketch was a mildly humorous, satirical version of a leftist line of argument: rich white people — and white people in general — are paranoid racists afraid of minorities.

As the show shifted gears to the evening’s political discussion, Maher got more serious with his commentary on the Gates affair and asked a question:

Let me broaden this out to ask about the Republican Party and racism. If you ask me, to quote John Dean, there is a cancer on the Republican Party and it is racism. I told this to Joe Scarborough last week… For a party that is trying to attract minorities or claims to be… One time side with the minority. The only racism they ever seem to be able to see is reverse racism. They never seem able to see victims of actual racism or ever once side with these people.

There wasn’t anyone sitting at the table willing to really answer Maher’s attack. Well, I guess someone must.

There’s a very simple reason why conservatives don’t automatically embrace the “side” of the supposedly-wronged minority in every given scenario. There’s a reason why conservatives refuse to see minorities as the victims of some racist, sexist, homophobic power structure. Answer: to do so is to acknowledge that such a racial war exists. It’s to see genuine tensions between modern day whites and blacks when none really exists.

This reality tunnel had its time and its place. If one thought there was a war of some sort between whites and blacks in the South circa 1950 then one would clearly be right. There were large numbers of openly racist cops who regularly abused innocent blacks. But to approach the world with the same eyes is no longer “progressive,” it’s “reactionary.”

By and large in this country today ethnic minorities live alongside and together with the Caucasian majority. And both have integrated together and found their shared humanity. Since graduating from college in 2006 I’ve spent much of my time working in different call centers to support myself — and now my young family — as my writing career has developed. And in these call centers there’s been tremendous ethnic diversity. And I’m sorry, but I just haven’t seen the racial tension. I don’t see wars between blacks, Asians, Latinos, and whites. Time and time again, I’ve seen and been a part of interracial friendships and professional partnerships.

And it’s become clear that we’re bound by shared hopes and goals. We’ve all pursued the American Dream together. This racial war proposed by both black and white leftist radicals is a phantom of an America long since past. It’s a kitsch Marxism designed to tear us apart when we should be uniting together behind an exciting American Idea.

Bill, who’s the true “progressive” here? The radicals stuck in ’60s-era visions of racist America, or the “conservatives” who are working to fulfill an America in which all races stand united? Unfortunately the answer doesn’t lend itself to a mean commercial parody.

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