By Ryan McNeely
As Matt has written previously, the conservative movement has a strange tendency to constantly be on guard against accusations of racism while seeming to ignore examples of actual racism. There any many possible explanations for this phenomenon, but I think Occam’s razor suggests that the conservative movement just doesn’t think the negative consequences of racism are all that terrible.
Here’s NRO Senior Editor Jay Nordlinger this morning comparing the experiences of conservative journalists with those of minority groups experiencing discrimination:
And I’m reminded why conservatives had to build their own media outlets. It’s sort of like Jews and country clubs. Jews built their own, not because they wanted to, necessarily, but because the other clubs wouldn’t let them in. They weren’t being “clannish.” They wanted to play golf, on first-class courses.
…Well, we conservatives built our own media outlets — because the other clubs wouldn’t let us in. I guess it’s working out okay. But there are interesting arguments to be made, and listened to.
In other words, Nordlinger believes that the experience of minority groups who are shut out of racially-segregated country clubs is “sort of like” the experience of conservative journalists looking to break into the mainstream media. National Review’s history on civil rights is well-known, and even now they are still grappling with its implications. But they could start by realizing that experiencing actual racial discrimination is uniquely horrible in a way that is not comparable to the experience of oppressed conservative pundits.
Additionally, while Nordlinger is discussing history, he is responding to this Jonah Goldberg post complaining about the contemporary media being biased in favor of liberals. But rather than being completely shut out of mainstream media discourse, like minorities barred from country clubs, conservatives tend to dominate the Sunday shows and op-ed pages around the country. So for conservatives, Nordlinger is correct that things really are “working out okay.”