Seeking to distinguish itself from “racists,” the virurently anti-Obama American Thinker claims that blacks have nothing in common with Obama
The overheated, frequently stunningly wrong-headed, Sarah Palin-worshipping J.R. Dunn of American Thinker (see his ridiculous article in 2008 charging that a sinister cabal of unnamed “Northeast Corridor conservatives” were out to destroy Palin) has another swinging-for-the-stands strikeout at AT. He separates Barack Obama from American blacks and argues that Obama does not represent blacks at all and that blacks do not share any of Obama’s political vices. Dunn’s stated motive is to separate American Thinker, which he describes as a “center-right” publication, from those white “racists,” none of whom he names or quotes, who say that the egregiousness of Obama’s leadership reflects on blacks.
Of course there is something to the idea that Obama does not represent blacks, given his unusual background, given that his father was from East Africa not West Africa, given that he was raised by whites and had no contact with the black American experience in his formative years, and so on. But Dunn in his focus on secondary and biographical differences between Obama and American blacks misses the big picture. It remains the case that, e.g., Obama thinks blacks are behind because of white racism, and blacks believe that blacks are behind because of white racism; Obama wants to keep expanding government subsidies and perks for blacks, which he sees as a pay-off for white racism, and blacks want to keep expanding government subsidies and perks for blacks, which they see as a pay-off for white racism; Obama is anti-American, and blacks are largely anti-American. The Obama/black overlap, which Dunn denies entirely, is in reality profound and extensive.
Finally, what could be sillier than the assertion that a president who won something like 97 percent of the black vote does not represent blacks? No conservative writer I can think of swings as hard, and misses as badly, as J.R. Dunn. I am encouraged to see that several of the AT commenters are critical of the piece.
At bottom, what drives Dunn’s overcooked attempt to deny any connection between “bad” Obama and “good” black America is the mainstream conservative belief that blacks are equal to whites in intellectual abilities. Since blacks have the same abilities as whites, and since blacks perform so much more poorly than whites, there must be some external factor that is artificially keeping down black achievement. The external factor is liberalism. Just as white liberals say that blacks achieve less than other groups because white conservatives keep them down, white conservatives say that blacks achieve less than other groups because liberal whites keep giving them undeserved rewards. If the undeserved rewards—“the soft bigotry of low expectations”—ceased, blacks would be forced to rely on their own abilities and would soon equal whites in performance. Thus your typical mainstream conservative, looking at the monumental school testing scandal in Atlanta, says that the cheating robbed black pupils of the opportunity to excel. He does not grasp that the cheating was the result of, not the cause of, blacks’ lower abilities.
By the way, just as Dunn in his 2008 article on the Northeast Corner conservatives did not name or quote a single one of those sinister individuals, in this current article he does not name or quote a single one of the “racists” he is attacking.James N. writes:
I think you cut right to the heart of what’s wrong with Dunn’s—and a lot of other “conservative’s” thinking on these matters.Bob S. writes:
Re: “had no contact with the black American experience in his formative years”:LA replies:
They’re not mere claims, they are established fact. So that’s a minor flaw in Dunn’s argument.Sage McLaughlin writes:
I wonder what our Deep American Thinker J.R. Dunn would make of the President’s adamant claim that he could no more disown Jeremiah Wright than he could the black community itself? I suppose he would say that Obama was simply lying and that neither Wright, nor Obama, nor the crowds of American blacks who attend such deranged “services” each week have anything to do with the black community.LA writes:
Lucianne.com features the Dunn article in its Must Reads:Sophia A. writes:
J.R. Dunn’s AMERICAN THINKER article about Obama and blacks is consistent with their other hilariously wrong-headed articles taking homosexuals and Hispanics to task for supporting the Democrats. I don’t know how many articles at that site I have read imploring homosexuals and Hispanics to come “home” to their natural party, because the Republicans are the party of freedom (which homosexuals allegedly prize) and family values (Hispanics).
Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 21, 2011 06:46 AM | Send