Targeting People with Dark Skin So As Not to Be Racist
Sometimes, one reads statements that leave the impression that the center line of American politics is a portal from one reality — with its own intellectual and moral standards — and another. Among the (predictable) criticisms being directed toward the Providence tea party is that the vast majority of those in attendance were light skinned, and in response to a comment by Real Deal Hope, on RI Future, that it was “an issue driven rally” with an open attendance opportunity, Matt Jerzyk offers the following:
While the event was an “open invitation,” the event organizers did go around the state and speak at events, groups and businesses to drive up attendance. Anyone who has ever tried to organize an event knows that turnout is driven by specific outreach. Since my criticism apparently wasn’t clear enough, let me give you a specific example. Did the event organizers go to Rhode Island’s largest middle-class African-American church and ask for 5 minutes to speak about their event? Or the largest middle-class Colombian group in Central Falls or middle-class Cape Verdean group in East Providence? More to my point exactly, did they go on WBRU or PODER just like they went on every other radio station or did they sit down for an interview with UNIVISION or Providence en Espanol or the Providence American?
I could be wrong about this, but as far as I know, during the few weeks in which they organized the event, the RI Tea Party folks didn’t “go around the state” speaking to groups, but made media appearances. They also didn’t, I don’t believe, go on WHJY, Cat Country, or “every other radio station” that doesn’t have a news focus. If they did either of those things, I didn’t hear about it.
That’s ancillary to the point, which is the astonishing racial reductivism of Matt’s suggestion. We on the right — particularly of the issue-driven, grassroots segment — target our message based on exhibited interests. When time is limited, we’ll approach audiences that have exhibited receptivity to similar ideas and seek to work through media of general interest for the region. The assumption is that people exhibit their interests in accord with their individual beliefs and understanding, not on the basis of their skin or heritage.
To the left, tint is primary. In order to ensure that pictures of a crowd have color, they’ll approach racially populated churches about government fiscal policy. They’ll research ethnic enclaves in order to check off a hit-list of identity groups. By “racial inclusiveness,” they clearly intend to divide and allocate people according to their race and then get representatives in a group photograph to promote their ideological cause. They mean to herd people into categories in order to more easily direct and manipulate them.
Matt may be correct that the hard-sell leftist effort to promote identity politics makes such a strategy politically savvy, in the current context, but I don’t find it especially moral. And if I had skin of a darker hue, I’d be much more self-conscious about my physical appearance at a liberal rally than a conservative one, and I’d resent the effort to make me feel that I couldn’t attend an event concerned with taxation without considering whether my fellow taxpayers were palpably conscious of my race.
As I walked around that crowd on Wednesday, I saw people. Contrary to the spin, some of them had darker skin than others, but I was paying more attention to signs and t-shirts.