Byron York, Racism, and Defensiveness

I’m not even going to say anything in response to what Byron York writes here in response to those who criticized his bizarre contention that Obama’s “sky-high ratings among African-Americans make some of his positions appear a bit more popular overall than they actually are.”

Instead, I’ll just say that York should read what Robert George has to say about this. Then York can consider whether this is really an issue about how “a left-wing activist like Matthew Yglesias” is trying to smear him.

It’s telling, though, that York opens his post with the whine that “I suppose if you haven’t been called a racist by the usual suspects on the left, you haven’t been writing for very long.” I’m not really sure how I became a “usual suspect” in this regard — maybe York has some long list of people I’ve been calling racists — but it illustrates one of my pet points. One of the defining characteristics of the modern right is a fierce belief that anti-racism run-amok is a major problem in American society and that it makes sense to devote a lot more vigilance and indignation to the alleged problem of anti-racism than it does to the problem of racism. It is, in my view, a strange point of view.

I mean, it’s not like York was running around lynching people or committing some grave and unforgivable sin. It would have been easy enough for him to write “I think the fact that there’s a large black-white gap in perceptions of Obama is an important fact about contemporary politics and I’m sorry I phrased my point in a manner which implied that black people’s opinions don’t count.” But instead, he’s furious that anyone’s upset. How dare they!