Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Is Fighting for Smaller Government Racist?

Daniel Greenfield

When the NAACP allowed itself to be used by the Democratic party to try and smear a grass roots movement for smaller government as racist, the resulting controversy shone a light on more than just racism by individuals associated with the NAACP, but with the organization's inability to delink class warfare from racism. If there is one thing that both the white media elites at Jornolist and the NAACP leadership agreed on, it's that fighting for smaller government is racist. The peculiar notion that reforming government by reducing its size is racist originates from the marriage of racial equality with class warfare to create the 40 Acres and a Mule politics covering everything from wealth redistribution to affirmative action to social welfare programs-- all under the aegis of the federal government. And yet this same brand of 40 Acres and a Mule politics underlies the particular tragedy of the black community, whose leaders traded in aspiration and equality for government handouts, forcing them to make the argument over and over again that there can be no social justice without total government control.

When the Democratic party was forced to make the transition from a party of Northern businessmen and Southern plantation owners, after two Republican Presidents, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, put a severe dent in their Southern plantations and the Northern business offices that had formerly given the party a death grip on the country's economy-- it did so by redefining the "Company Store" to mean the Federal government. The Republican notion of individual rights and free labor met the new Democratic notion of ward boss handouts at the Federal level in a battle for the soul of the Black community, and the Democrats won. Not immediately, not conclusively and not absolutely-- but they won, and the NAACP's leadership demonstrates why.

The black leadership has gained distinct advantages for itself as a separate class, while disadvantaging the black community as a whole. Civil rights leaders who made their money on lawsuit shakedowns and diversity training seminars, corporate executives and business owners who got where they were through affirmative action programs that encouraged companies to hire one black executive for appearance not merit, and rewarded minority business owners for the color of their skin, rather than for results-- helped create a black leadership that owed its position and power to government intervention, rather than ability. And in the process that same leadership marginalized more qualified people within the black community, while teaching the lesson that aspiration and ability did not matter, only connections and politics did.

Affirmative action politics closed far more doors than it opened, but those who got through the open door knew exactly what they owed it to. Creating racial quotas as a way to select leaders was an effective tool for perpetuating the same system over and over again, marginalizing black candidates and business owners as a whole, while rewarding a select few who would then be in a position to praise and maintain things the status quo.

The racism charge leveled against the Tea Party is the doing of a leadership that sees itself as completely dependent on the Federal government, so much so that it finds any talk of reducing it to be dangerous and threatening. And as the Democratic party has identified itself closely with the domestic expansion of government and wealth redistribution politics, it has been able to manipulate the black community, to appropriate its decision making powers and use it as a political tool, while virtually eliminating its actual political clout. The sad state of affairs in which the official black leadership damns anyone who doesn't toe the Democratic party line as Uncle Toms and "not real black people" reveals just who really calls the shots in this arrangement. And it is not the black leadership, which gets trotted out when the Democratic party needs them, and gets told to go home when it doesn't. Which is no different than the treatment accorded to women's or Jewish groups.

The attacks hurled at the government reforms advocated by Tea Party groups rely on invoking sixties racist boogeymen about States' Rights, but the Tea Parties are not fighting to resegregate schools or lunch counters, as many times as liberal political bloggers may try and market that particular smear. Instead the Tea Party is an attempt to salvage the financial viability of the Middle Class that has traditionally been America's only reliable bastion of political and social equality. And their targets are not Eisenhower's forced desegregation and challenges to States' Rights, a Republican President, but the out of control government expansion that began with FDR's New Deal, which enforced racial segregation and plunged the country deeper into the depression.

Wealth Redistribution will never solve the black community's problems, only worsen them. Which may be why most of the greatest African-American inventions took place before it, not after. All that spending has not helped the black community, in part because while the spending may use social welfare as a justification, it is mostly directed at building up the size of government itself. The gargantuan bureaucratic structures that form as a result only perpetuate poverty for everyone, while feeding money to a small group of insiders who are politically connected enough to benefit from it. The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac disasters in which black homeowners were saddled with debt, that was then resold worldwide by bankers and brokers, is a typical example of what happens and where the money really goes.

Investing more money and power in the Federal government is short-sighted and unwise. Before the Federal government was forcing open schoolhouses, it was forcibly segregating Northern neighborhoods. Before it was filing lawsuits on behalf of black homeowners, it was demanding that Northern states return escaped slaves. Like all centralized power, Federal power is not moral, it serves the interests of those who wield it, who in turn use everyone else. To see such a system as dangerous and unstable is not racist, it is common sense.

The same system that has marginalized black politics to a few handpicked candidates running in gerrymandered districts, has done the same thing to the voice of the black community as a whole. Just as it has done to other groups across the United States. This plantation politics that promises protection in return for fealty is not only degrading and undemocratic, it is dangerous to everyone involved. And as the current escalation of Federal power threatens to destroy the Middle Class for good, it is important for everyone who believes in individual achievement and aspiration to join together and protect their present and their future from out of control spending and big government.

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