Before your blood gets boiling to fast, the headline of this story does not imply that the left is made up of racists. Instead, the point is that racism in America is alive and well across the entire political spectrum even though the left generally characterizes it as the sole property of the right.
In one of the most racist pieces of journalism that I have seen in years, “Chauncey DeVega” wrote a highly offensive post for the very leftist blog the AlterNet:
In the immortal words of Megatron in Transformers: The Movie, Herman Cain’s speech at CPAC really is bad comedy. As you know, I find black garbage pail kids black conservatives fascinating not because of what they believe, but rather because of how they entertain and perform for their White Conservative masters.
When race minstrelsy was America’s most popular form of mass entertainment, black actors would often have to pretend to be white men, who then in turn would put on the cork to play the role of the “black” coon, Sambo, or Jumping Jim Crow. Adding insult to injury, in a truly perverse and twisted example of the power of American white supremacy black vaudevillians would often pretend to be white in order to denigrate black people for the pleasures of the white gaze.
Herman Cain–an ironic name if ever, and one more suited to a tragic figure in a Harlem Renaissance era novella–is not “blackening twice” as some race minstrels chose to do.
[Unfortunately, the attendees at CPAC are not the butt of some type of joke where the white man wearing the cork is really a black man in secret.]
Instead, Herman Cain’s shtick is a version of race minstrelsy where he performs “authentic negritude” as wish fulfillment for White Conservative fantasies. Like the fountain at Lourdes, Cain in his designated role as black Conservative mascot, absolves the White racial reactionaries at CPAC of their sins. This is a refined performance that Black Conservatives have perfected over many decades and centuries of practice.
. . .
We always need a monkey in the window, for he/she reminds us of our humanity while simultaneously reinforcing a sense of our own superiority.
There are so many places to start attacking the many problems of this piece it was hard to choose, but I will start with an easy one – hypocrisy. While purportedly “attacking” the racism of the right (which the author seems to equate with “White America”), the author goes on to call Blacks on the Right as “monkeys,” “coons,” and “authentic negritude.” These statements are definitionally racist and in the worst possible way. Instead of talking about the attributes of individual behavior, the author attacks blacks on the right and all of white america based on his own stereotyping.
Racism is racism. My friends on the left scream at me that the post is not racist because the author is purpotedly black – a fact that is completely irrelevant to me. First, race is completely self-defined – at what melanin level is someone black, or white or yellow or red? Second, descriptors like African American are useless because they lack a temporal definition – from what I understand of the science, all of us emerged from Africa about 50,000 years ago – how recent does your immigration have to be to qualify as “African?”
As soon as you move away from the original goals of the civil rights movement which focused solely on the REMOVAL of racial barriers, and attempt to “conteract” racism with more racism you end up in these definitional debates.
Simple answer is that any denigrating remarks, regardless of source, that attack or discriminate based on race or skin color are racist. Any other view is simply promoting racism of a different color.