Ami Horowitz produced this wonderful clip for Fox News titled, “How white liberals really view black voters.” The concept is simple. He heads to the progressive bastion of Berkeley, California and does a series of man-on-the-street interviews, asking white people about voter ID laws. A number of people volunteer that voter ID laws are a bad idea and also racist. When Horowitz asks why the laws are racist things get interesting.
“Because they’re less likely to have state ID’s,” one young man says. ” Another man says, “Minority voters are less likely to have the kinds of ID’s that have been described or required.” A third man volunteers, “These type of people don’t live in areas with easy access to DMVs or other places where they can get identification.”
If you’re like me, you’re already squirming a little listening to these answers. Presumably some of these people have black friends or co-workers. Would they refer to those friends or co-workers as “these type of people?” I hope not. And it gets worse when some respondents grasping for an explanation suggest black people don’t have access to the internet or cell phone data plans.
I won’t spoil the payoff here but suffice it to say that Horowitz gets some mystified reactions when he heads to Harlem to do the same man-on-the-street interviews with black people, asking them about what he was told in Berkeley.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “soft bigotry of low expectations” before. It’s a way of referring to the well-meaning but ultimately insulting and harmful practice of expecting some person (or group) to be able to accomplish less than what you would expect from anyone else. The phrase was coined by George W. Bush speech writer Michael Gerson but rarely has it come to life so clearly as it does in this clip. Enjoy: