Playing the Race Card to Silence Debate

August 2, 2019 Updated: August 4, 2019

Commentary

The Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s criticism of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and the conditions in Baltimore highlights the way the word “racism” is used to silence political debate.

It’s a disturbing trend that’s gaining momentum, and it’s reaching a frightening level, with a new low standard for racism being set.

Now, a white person making a critical comment about someone who is black, a black community, or a black-dominated country is automatically a racist in the eyes of Democrats and their media enablers.

Actually, it’s considered racist for whites to criticize a much broader group defined as people of color—not just black people.

In fact, a recent Rasmussen Reports poll found 32 percent of Democrats believe it’s racist when a politician of color is criticized by a white politician.

Today, the root cause of race-card-politics-on-steroids is tied to Democratic anger over the election of President Trump, frustration with Trump’s ability to deliver on his promises, and the failure of the Mueller report to take him down.

Without a political plan to challenge the president, Democrats and their media allies are resorting to good ol’ race-based mudslinging in order to damage the president.

Removing Accountability

The practical implication of not being able to criticize people of color is that they aren’t held accountable for their actions and results. It’s a form of immunity based on color.

In the short-term, Democrats hope to gain political points by slandering Trump as a racist, but the long-term consequences of this strategy are extremely destructive, because truth is the victim of the assault on free speech.

For example, cries of racism are preventing Cummings from being held accountable for his performance in office, as well as an honest discussion of the problems in Baltimore.

The president’s initial tweets directed at Cummings simply pointed out the obvious—the conditions in Baltimore are worse than detention centers at the southern border. Given the conditions in the city, Cummings should use his power in Congress to help his constituents. Instead, he’s busy slamming Border Patrol in hearings.

Overall, it’s a tough but fair assessment of Cummings’s priorities. Like many Democrats in Congress, Cummings’s constituents come in a distant second to purely political matters.

Defense and Response

A debate about Cummings’s priorities and assessment of his work was immediately shouted down by Democrats and the media mob, which quickly circled the wagons to protect him by calling the president a racist.

CNN anchor Victor Blackwell twisted the meaning of the president’s tweets about Baltimore. In emotional comments that included tears, Blackwell concluded Trump’s attack was “about black and brown people,” and not about conditions in Baltimore.

Similarly, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) defended Cummings as “a beloved leader in Baltimore” and against “all racist attacks against him.”

Activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton jumped into the fray and traveled to Baltimore for a press conference, where he called Trump “bigoted and racist.”

Cummings’s initial response to the president was weak—he didn’t defend his work for his constituents with details. Cummings only mentioned he lives in his district, saying, “Each morning, I wake up and I go fight for my neighbors.”

It didn’t take long for Cummings to recover and use the race card against the president.

On ABC News’ “This Week,” Cummings wasn’t asked about the conditions in Baltimore and what he’s done to improve the city. Instead, host George Stephanopoulos focused on racism and on that topic, Cummings was ready.

Cummings said the president’s comments elicit the “painful” feelings he had when he was fighting for civil rights in the 1960s, and during the conversation, he added there is “no doubt” that the president is a racist.

Using racism to blunt criticism is not equally applied across the political spectrum, but reserved for Trump and his supporters.

Joe Lockhart, a CNN contributor and former press secretary for President Bill Clinton, slandered the president’s supporters by calling them racists in a tweet.

However, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) isn’t called a racist for having compared Baltimore to a third-world country. And former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has gotten a pass for noting the horrible conditions in the city, including the smell of rats.

With the racist pump being primed, every comment that Trump and his supporters make going forward will be viewed through that lens, giving minority politicians a free ride from accountability.

Tom Borelli, Ph.D., is a contributor to America’s Voice News.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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