November 9, 2005
Can Liberals Be Racist? Ask Michael Steele
-- Who's afraid of a black Republican?
that Republican's name is Michael Steele and he's seeking to become
Maryland's first black senator, the answer is: Just about everyone.
with Democratic officials such as Thomas V. ``Mike'' Miller Jr.,
the president of the state Senate. In 2001, Miller called Steele
-- then head of the state Republican Party -- an ``Uncle Tom.''
Miller later apologized for the slur.
are Democratic Party activists such as the ones who, when Steele
was running for lieutenant governor in 2002, gave him a rude reception
at a gubernatorial debate at a predominantly black university.
The activists pelted Steele with Oreo cookies.
there are black liberals, including some who don't even live in
Maryland but have made it their mission to try to torpedo Steele's
Senate bid. They include a left-wing blogger in New York who posted
a doctored photo of Steele depicting him as a minstrel in blackface.
Amid criticism, the photo was pulled. What remains, however, is
a photo of Steele with an equally offensive caption calling him
there are those liberals and Democratic operatives who, while
claiming not to defend such blatantly vulgar and distasteful tactics,
go on to, well, defend them.
State Sen. Lisa A. Gladden says Steele should accept whatever
personal attacks come his way. She also says that black voters
are likely to be Steele's harshest critics because, as she puts
it, ``party trumps race.''
finally said it out loud. And I'm sure Democratic Party Chairman
Howard Dean and other Democrats will be delighted to hear it.
Imagine all the outreach dollars earmarked for the black community
that might now be spent pursuing white suburban soccer moms.
race -- not to mention, common sense. Some African-American leaders
complain that black people aren't getting anywhere politically.
They're right. That's because they've perfected the recipe for
how to become politically irrelevant -- allow yourself to be taken
for granted by one party and written off by another.
a threat to the social order of things because he challenges all
that. Because he stands with the GOP, he gives black Americans
something that Democrats don't want them to have: options. And
so, for those who prefer the status quo, the mission is clear:
Steele must be discredited and his candidacy destroyed. He has
to be painted as an aberration, or better yet, a sellout. That
way, no self-respecting African-American will follow him to the
another part of this that is interesting. It used to be that African-Americans
turned to the Democratic Party to protect them from discrimination
and disenfranchisement. But when a black Republican comes along,
African-Americans -- like that guy with the blog -- often return
the favor and defend the Democratic Party as a major engine for
should be grateful for that. They can't afford too many of these
kinds of firsts. Breakthroughs such as the Steele candidacy threaten
the party's monopoly by showing black voters that they don't need
to fall in line with the Democratic Party to be successful in
politics or life.
want none of that. They're all for people making history -- as
long those people are on their side of the aisle. They're all
for minorities succeeding -- as long as they can claim credit
for the success. And they're all for minorities becoming involved
politically and voting -- as long as they continue to vote Democratic
And if any
of this doesn't go according to plan, then it's open season on
anyone who gums up the works. Liberals think nothing of portraying
blacks and other minorities who defect to the Republican Party
as defective in some way.
recently wrote that he was shocked that I, as a Mexican-American,
would have anything nice to say about Republicans or the Bush
administration because they had done so much harm to ``your people.''
What a condescending remark -- but what a useful example of liberal
racism. Mention the words ``liberal'' and ''racism'' in one sentence
in a classroom at one of the nation's most elite universities,
and you'll get blank stares. For a lot of people on the left,
the phrase is an oxymoron. They really don't seem to know what
it means. How can liberals be racist? How can people dedicated
to promoting tolerance be guilty of intolerance?
Steele. I bet he has a good grasp of the concept.
2005, The San Diego Union-Tribune