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Identity Politics for White People

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Identity Politics for White People"

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Sarah Palin delves into America’s racial conflicts:

And that double standard is—and that hypocrisy is another reason why so many Americans are quite disgusted with the political games that are played, not only on both sides of the aisle, but in this case, on the left wing, what they are playing with this game of racism and kind of letting Harry Reid’s comments slide, but having crucified Trent Lott for essentially along the same lines[.]

I think this right here shows why it’ll be a generation or two before you see a substantial number of black people voting for the Republican Party. Here’s Palin talking about an issue which is either a pointless partisan sideshow, or else a serious complaint about race in America. But the complaint she offers isn’t a complaint on behalf of African-Americans. It’s a complaint offered on behalf of white southern racists. It’s not that it would be unfair to black people for Reid to remain majority leader rather the problem is that it would be unfair to Trent Lott. And surely it’s no surprise that white southern conservatives seem much more likely than actual black people to be making these kind of demands. The idea that white people might want to show some deference to African-Americans’ views of who is and is not their enemy and what is and is not offensive to them is inimical to the conservative project’s determination to zealous advocacy on behalf of the interests of white people.

If you want to hear something intelligent said on this subject, meanwhile, listen to Loury and McWhorter on “Negro dialect”.

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