To document all of the societal ills that MSNBC and its like-minded contributors have blamed on American racism is to commit to writing a doctoral thesis. That network and its viewership, suffice it to say, is consumed with the impact anti-minority bias has on the public discourse and on society as a whole.
Online and print publications, too, generate sorely needed readership by focusing on issues, both substantive and fleeting, relating to racial bias. According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, however, an audience’s dark fascination with racism is distinct from believing that it is the fundamental challenge of our time.
Pew, which recently performed a detailed study on how American politics has grown sharply more polarized in the last 10 years, also found that Democratic groups are sharply divided on the issue of race and how racism hampers personal development among minorities.
The survey discovered that 91 percent of “solid liberals” and 72 percent of “faith and family left,” or those with a mix of conservative and liberal views on social issues, agree that the country “needs to continue making changes to give blacks equal rights.” But only 56 percent of “hard-pressed skeptics,” Democrats critical of interventionist foreign policy and the solvency of the social safety net, agree. Those who make up what Pew defines as the “next generation left,” those who generally support government activism, foreign engagement, and the social safety net, disagree.
Moreover, while there is broad agreement among all Democratic groups for the need for affirmative action programs, only the “solidly liberal” believe racial discrimination is the “main reason blacks can’t get ahead.”
That is 49 points more supportive of this assertion than any other political group, placing “solid liberals” wildly out of step with the rest of the country on the issue of racial discrimination.
“[E]ven as 59% are left-of-center (with the remainder holding about an equal number of liberal and conservative positions), just 7% have down-the-line liberal political values,” Pew wrote. That does not stop the hosts and guests on the nation’s most solidly liberal cable network from catering to that extraordinarily narrow point of view.
MSNBC host Touré landed squarely in the “solidly liberal” camp when he scolded President Barack Obama for being too conservative on racial issues. “When the president speaks to the black community, there’s often a dive into the politics of personal responsibility. I cringe at that, as if effort and excuses have been the problem,” the host said in February. “No. It’s been structural racism.”
MSNBC host Chris Hayes recently interviewed Dr. Ben Carson and marveled over his insistence that racial relations in the United States have improved dramatically in the last 50 years. His fellow guest, Demos President Heather McGhee countered with the majority MSNBC viewpoint that the U.S. remains plagued by “vast disparities predicated on race.”
This “solidly liberal” impulse to craft and denounce episodes of racial animus in American life extends beyond politics.
The plight of the film 12 Years a Slave was recently elevated as an example of how it is an “uphill battle” for a movie with uncomfortable racial themes to generate acclaim. Two days after that segment aired, that film won Best Picture and Best Actress at the Academy Awards. So, the segment was more about wishing a racial problem into existence than objectively highlighting one.
The nation’s first African-American Attorney General, appointed by the nation’s first African-American president, recently hurled the bloody tunic of racism into a crowd of supporters when he implied that a panel of congressional Republicans subjected him to a thorough grilling over a law enforcement matter because he was black. He recently echoed Touré’s assertion that subtle, virtually undetectable racism — the kind requiring paid experts to both identify and decipher — was a greater threat than the overt racism displayed by Donald Sterling.
The usual suspects attempted to tar Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as a covert racist because he acknowledged that poverty in inner city neighborhoods is often trans-generational – a claim the president has also made, but did not result in similar denunciations.
Famed linguist and iconoclast John McWhorter was recently drafted to address the truly serious concerns expressed by truly serious people over the tune “Turkey in the Straw,” which often blares from ice cream trucks in the summer, and its shamefully racist past.
If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of “solidly liberal” heads exploding as they infer from this column the assertion that racism does not exist or is not a problem in America. That conclusion is self-evidently untrue and serves as a convenient means by which they can avoid confronting this poll and its comprehensive rebuke of their worldview.
And Pew is not alone. A poll conducted by CBS News in March revealed that six in 10 Americans believe race relations in America are “generally good.” That figure included 60 percent of whites and 55 percent of blacks.
We often hear about how out of step Republicans and conservative organizations are with the views of a majority of Americans on social policy. On issues ranging from gun ownership rights to gay marriage, we are regularly inundated with the assertion that liberals are more in tune with the cultural philosophy of most Americans. On at least one social issue, a fundamental and central one at that, the left is not representative of America.