You think we’re not diverse? This is what diversity looks like: the newcomers bunching up in one party, the old stock inhabitations bunching up in the other. It’s the same in Britain and in France and in Germany, and just about everywhere. You don’t like it? Maybe you should have thought of that before you invited half of Mexico to move here.
Nothing against Mexican people! Or black people! Or any kind of people! So long as they pull their weight. Maybe instead of asking us why all these so-called diverse people are not Republicans, maybe you should ask them why they don’t support the party for the people who do the work and pay the bills. Maybe it’s their problem, not ours, that they identify with a president who is tearing down everything I grew up with.
Whoever you blame, I don’t see why I should change my beliefs just because somebody with a different color skin doesn’t like them. I don’t like Barack Obama’s beliefs, but he won’t change them on my account. Why is it that the guy with the white skin has to change his mind, not the guy with the other kind of skin? Or why can’t we just respect the fact that some of us have one set of beliefs – others have different beliefs – and let us all compete on voting day and may the best team win? Why do you liberals always have to be dragging race into it? Makes me think that it’s you guys, who are always blaming just one race for everything that’s wrong with America, who are the real racists.
What you want is a country where everybody looks different, and everybody thinks the same. That’s what you call diversity. No thanks. You work hard, you pay your way, you quit asking for handouts, and you’re American enough for me – and you’ll be up there on the podium with Bobby Jindal, Allen West, Herman Cain, and Nikki Haley as a leader of the one party in this country that isn’t hung up on race.
I think this is actually pretty accurate, and largely defensible. This imaginary monologue speaks well to the reason why Democrats struggle to reach white voters. It’s acceptable for women and minorities to speak of privileges accruing to them because of their gender or race, because that’s “inclusion” and “diversity.” When whites, especially white males, do it, it’s bigotry. Many whites perfectly well grasp the double standard, and are not morally intimidated by The New York Times and other liberal opinion makers going into swivets over the supposed racism of Republicans for practicing normal politics. Ross Douthat said this the other day:
This kind of ethnic/racial patronage is hardly a new thing in our politics, and it doesn’t make today’s liberals the “real” racists, or prove that President Obama is actually some kind of post-colonial score-settler, as the Michael Moores of right-wing identity politics are wont to claim. But it does means that when it comes to exploiting America’s ethnic divisions to mobilize key constituencies, today’s Democratic Party sins as much as it is sinned against. And it means that the Democrats’ struggle to reach Klein’s “plain old white insurance salesman” and the Republicans’ struggle to reach Hispanics and African-Americans are in some sense mirror images of one another. They’re both a consequence of party leaders taking the path of least resistance on racially-charged issues, and they’re both reminders of the hard truth that the more racially diverse America of the future could easily become, and remain, a more polarized society as well.
Along these lines, Steve Sailer has a provocative point:
Much of the libertarianism of the Tea Party is an attempt to come up with a principled ideological justification for the banding together for mutual political protection of the only group left in America that’s not supposed to band together. Julian Castro is not expected to put forward a principled defense of his special privileges, but white Americans feel the need for principles. That makes it easy for, say, plutocrats to hijack the Tea Party because it’s not allowed to even conceive of what it’s really about.
To be clear, I would prefer that racial consciousness not be part of our politics. But it does grate, and grate deeply, to be confronted constantly in the media with the question of why the big, bad, racist Republicans struggle to reach minority voters — which, to be clear, really is a political problem for the GOP! — but see no equal concern, or interest, in why the Democrats have so much difficult reaching large numbers of white voters. As Sailer avers, the unspoken principle here is that blacks and Hispanics don’t have to justify seeing their group interests better represented by Democrats, but whites are not allowed the same privilege.
UPDATE: From the WaPo, this account of a black Congressman speaking to a black congregation:
“If we elect Barack Obama, sure he’s going to be the president for everybody in the United States, and he’s always going to stand up and say, ‘I can’t single out this group or that group,’ ” said Rep. Mel Watt, whose Charlotte district includes the church.
But then Watt, typically low-key and monotone, suddenly erupted, like a preacher, and laid out why this president’s success is so vital to him — why “this is personal.”
“I know that Barack Obama looks like me,” Watt thundered, “and I know that he has some of our blood running through his veins.”
With that, the audience rose to its feet. “Yes!” shouted some. “Amen!”
Watt appeared stunned by his own emotion. And several women, clearly moved, rubbed their eyes with handkerchiefs.
Is this bad? Would it be bad if a white Congressman told a white congregation, about Mitt Romney, “I know that Mitt Romney looks like me, and I know that he has some of our blood running in his veins”? Would you care if the congregation shouted “Amen!”?