African Americans may not much appreciate the flattery, and understandably so, but the recent hearing of the House Oversight Committee at which Micheal Cohen, former attorney to Donald Trump, testified about Trump’s various misdeeds, did nicely illustrate the significant impact they and their civil rights activism have had on our society.
Cohen stated flatly during his testimony that Trump is a racist whom he heard make multiple racist statements. Representative Mark Meadows, (R-NC) was outraged, outraged! that anyone could call a man who said most Mexican immigrants are rapists and murders a racist!
This kind of low high comedy is all the fault of African Americans and their impressive civil rights movement for making “racist” the gravest insult in U.S. politics today.
Meadows was in high dudgeon again later when Representative Rashida Tlaib, (D-MI) suggested that it was a racist act for Meadows to have brought in an African American woman who works for the Trump administration to prove that Trump is not racist. Meadows mostly took offense at the apparent breach of the long standing rule in the House of Representatives prohibiting members from insulting each other during proceedings, which Tlaib insisted she had no intention of doing.
After the hearing, Meadows had to explain further when video clips of him perpetuating the racist birther lie that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya surfaced.
His protestations look ever less convincing.
Later during the hearing, Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) dug in on important questions involving Trump’s misuse of his supposedly charitable foundation, then returned to the question of Trump’s racism, at 4:40 in this clip:
She listed various other acts of racism by the president to make the point that just having one African American employee by no means proves that he is not racist.
These exchanges exemplify the problem we have with discussions of race and racism in our culture. “Conservatives” are too quick to try to defend against entirely valid allegations of racism by taking personal offense and expressing their outrage! as a way of hijacking any discussion and deflecting from serious discussion of the real problems with racism in our society.
African Americans have done a good job of making racism the biggest sin a political leader can commit. One can easily understand how they would be much happier if the response were just to stop being racist instead of acting in racist ways, then protesting their innocence in outraged tones when anyone points it out.
Paying lip service is a compliment of sorts, but not a very welcome one.