Launching Ad Hominem Attacks and Stoking Racial Tensions
When liberals rant, it’s called free speech; when conservatives rant, it is hate speech.
If the facts are not on your side, argue the law. If the law is not on your side, argue the facts. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, call your opponent names.
—old legal adage—
Six years ago, Human Events, a conservative publication, ran an article titled “The Democrat Plantation.” The article began by recalling slavery during the days before the Civil War. At that time, enslaved blacks, many of whom would become the ancestors of black Americans today, lived their lives strictly as directed by their masters. Absolute compliance to guidelines and protocol was expected, and anyone deviating from the requirements faced harsh consequences. Slaves were powerless to change their situations, so many of them became resigned to their fate. Their perspective has been called a “plantation mentality.” It quashed any initiative to move outside the established boundaries for thinking and behavior.
Fast forward a hundred sixty years. An “overwhelming majority of black Americans” today, the article contends, still have a plantation mentality. Expectations regarding one’s political views and how he or she should vote are crystal clear in the black community. Uniformity is required, and anyone who dares to question expectations or to think or act independently is severely punished. The “slave-owner” in the 21st century is none other than the Democrat Party—the party that claims to be blacks’ advocate and defender!
The spotlight of history exposes much about racism in America today.
The spotlight of history exposes much about racism in America today. We’ve seen this over the last nine weeks in our series of posts upholding the importance of historical accuracy. With only a few exceptions, Democrats have not been champions of blacks or of the principle of true American equality among the races. Instead, Democrats have oppressed blacks through a variety of means, including; Jim Crow laws; segregation; and Ku Klux Klan violence, intimidation, and even murder.
Despite this history, Democrats have enjoyed near monolithic support of blacks for the last fifty-plus years. Several modern myths have contributed to this allegiance. Learn about them here.
Despite the perceptions that teach otherwise, the Democrat Party still is the party holding blacks down. In fact, Democrats continue to buy blacks’ votes to enhance their own power. Beyond this, anyone who speaks against this dependency is accused of racism and called all sorts of names. Such an accusation is racist in and of itself—but black conservatives are especially vilified.1 An excellent example of one such conservative is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Thurgood Marshall’s Successor on the Supreme Court
At a press conference held on June 28, 1991, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the only black justice to have served on the court, announced that he would retire. On July 1, President George H. W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to be Marshall’s replacement. At the time, Thomas was serving as the Judge of the Unites States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Court.
Wikipedia states, “Civil rights and feminist organizations opposed the appointment based partially on Thomas’s criticism of affirmative action and suspicions that Thomas might not be a supporter of Roe v. Wade.” The conservative website conservapedia.com offers this description of the response of Thomas’ opponents (citations and links have been removed).
In a flagrant violation of the rules of the Senate, staff members for a sitting Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee leaked a routine confidential FBI background report to Nina Totenberg of National Public Radio (NPR) which contained a vicious defamatory smear intended to mar Thomas for life. The accusation was known to be false, and was concocted to publicly intimidate an African-American Republican from accepting an appointment to the nation’s High Court, and derail his nomination. None of the allegations could be substantiated. The deliberate falsehoods did however persuade former Ku Klux Klan Democratic Senator Robert to change his vote from “yes” for confirmation to “no”.
From May 6, 1982 to March 12, 1990, Thomas had served as the Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and before that at the Department of Education. A black lawyer by the name of Anita Hill had worked for Thomas in both settings. Testifying at Thomas’ hearings, Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment. He forcefully denied her claims, declaring,
This is not an opportunity to talk about difficult matters privately or in a closed environment. This is a circus. It’s a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree.
In the end, Thomas was confirmed narrowly by the Senate on October 15, 1991. The vote was of 52-48. The breakdown was as follows. Of 43 Republicans, 41 voted for confirmation and 2 voted against; and of 57 Democrats, 11 voted for confirmation and 46 voted against.
Democrats claim to be champions of diversity, but here’s the truth. They want racial diversity only if it doesn’t upset their own liberal, ideological, and often unconstitutional agenda. Conservative blacks are a particular threat to that agenda. Indeed, when their policies are opposed, Democrats are all too willing to resort to ad hominem attacks and racism to get their way. Here’s an example. In early 2014, after America had elected and reelected its first black president, President Barak Obama blamed a downward trend in his approval rating on—you guessed it—racism! It should be no surprise, therefore, that as a black conservative sitting on the US Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas is a prime target of progressives’ wrath.
Progressives want racial diversity only if it doesn’t upset their own liberal, ideological, and often unconstitutional agenda. Conservative blacks are a particular threat to that agenda. Indeed, when their policies are opposed, Democrats are all too willing to resort to ad hominem attacks and racism to get their way.
Clarence Thomas: A Principled Conservative
In June of 2013, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas. Reporter Robby Soave writes that “the Court vacated and remanded a lower court ruling because Texas had failed to demonstrate that affirmative action was necessary to achieve a diverse student body—a requirement of the Grutter v. Bollinger decision in 2003. It was a win for foes of affirmative action—albeit one that won’t actually end the practice.”
Clarence Thomas concurred with the decision but went on to blast affirmative action in the first place. Among other things, he made the case it hurts minorities, the very people it purports to help. Thomas wrote,
- The University admits minorities who otherwise would have attended less selective colleges where they would have been more evenly matched. But, as a result of the mismatching, many blacks and Hispanics who likely would have excelled at less elite schools are placed in a position where under-performance is all but inevitable because they are less academically prepared than the white and Asian students with whom they must compete.
- Setting aside the damage wreaked upon the self-confidence of these over-matched students, there is no evidence that they learn more at the University than they would have learned at other schools for which they were better prepared. Indeed, they may learn less.
For additional statements from Thomas’ opinion, go here.
Thomas’ opinion in a similar case the following year was entirely consistent with all he wrote in Fisher v. University of Texas. A case named Schuette v. BAMN asked the court to answer this question: “Could Michigan voters have violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by amending their own constitution to prohibit race-based preferences?” Voters passed the ballot initiative (Proposition 2) on November 7, 2006, 58 percent to 42 percent. In their decision, which was released on April 22, 2014, the court upheld the law; a majority of justices effectively said no, Michigan voters hadn’t violated the 14th Amendment. Justice Elana Kagan had recused herself. Of the remaining 8 justices, Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented. That left Breyer, Kennedy, Roberts, Alito, Scaila, and Thomas. Ken Klukowski reported on the decision for Breitbart News:
The Supreme Court in Schuette upheld this provision today. There was no majority opinion for the Court. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the lead opinion for the plurality, which will be the one carrying the force of law for the nation. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.…
Justice Antonin Scalia filed an opinion concurring in the Court’s judgment upholding Proposition 2, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas.
Scalia and Thomas, however, would have gone further than Kennedy, Roberts, and Alito. Justice Stephen Breyer, who consistently votes left of center, voted in this instance to uphold the provision, but his reasoning was different from that of the other justices.
Attacking Thomas Rather than Arguing Against His Ideas
Of course, liberals didn’t like the decision. Revealingly, they unleashed their fiercest wrath against Clarence Thomas. Here are examples of some of their tweets. A favorite epithet of the left in situations like this is “Uncle Tom.”
- Since Clarence Thomas is against affirmative action, he should give up the black seat on the Court. He’s only there bc T Marshall was before
- SCOTUS decision today shows it’s 5/9ths racist. And yes, Clarence Thomas hates his own race
- Clarence Thomas is, for lack of a better word, a tom. No, actually, that’s the perfect word.
- Clarence Thomas really is the universe’s equal and opposite reaction to MLK
- Clearance Thomas is so bad. Calling some one his name is the same as calling someone an Uncle Tom.
- Clarence Thomas please retire from the Supreme Court. You are the worst negro in history.
Truthrevolt.org described the situation this way: “Within a few hours, Twitter erupted with the usual slurs directed at black conservatives who don’t follow the left’s prescribed agenda.” (Note the word “usual” in the previous sentence; it indicates that with this kind of scenario, we can expect a bombardment of slurs from the liberals.)
As students of history, we need to realize that standing among the “black conservatives who don’t follow the left’s prescribed agenda” would have been slave-turned-statesman Frederick Douglass. He once wrote, “No class or color should be the exclusive rulers of the country. If there is such a ruling class there must of course be a subject class, and when this condition is once established this government by the people, of the people, and for the people will have already perished from the earth.” Both Frederick Douglass and Clarence Thomas are in great company!
No class or color should be the exclusive rulers of the country. If there is such a ruling class there must of course be a subject class, and when this condition is once established this government by the people, of the people, and for the people will have already perished from the earth.
Clearly it isn’t just black conservatives who earn the wrath of the left, but all conservatives—especially articulate ones. Quite often, though, black conservatives are extremely eloquent, and this may be part of the reason they irritate liberals so thoroughly.
In part because black conservatives often are extremely eloquent, they irritate liberals thoroughly.
As Ben Shapiro has said,
The Left paints everybody who disagrees with them as a vicious racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe, bad people. We are all bad people. That’s why you see, for example, in the last election cycle, Mitt Romney sort of made the case about Barack Obama, that Barack Obama was a good guy and a decent fellow who was not very good at being President, and Barack Obama basically made the case about Romney that he was scum of the earth. And that’s how the left wins elections, because they can’t win on their own competence. What they do win on is by claiming that anybody who opposes them is just a bad person on a fundamental level.
Along these lines, consider Hillary Clinton’s recent “basket of deplorables” remark about “half” of Donald Trump’s supporters. Clinton described them as “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.” She found herself having to backtrack, but her having said what she said in the first place vividly illustrates our point. Moreover, an apology does not erase the impact of the message on Hillary’s intended audience.
Mrs. Clinton’s remarks do not represent an isolated case. Conservapedia.com has compiled a list of examples of liberal hate speech (also go here and here). Especially when this kind of rhetoric is used against blacks, it’s racist. Can you imagine the reaction of the leftist media and their cohorts if Republicans were to talk about liberal personalities in this manner?
The following video is very instructive regarding the hatred liberals throw at black conservatives, as well as the courage these freedom-loving Americans demonstrate as they swim upstream against today’s politically correct culture.
“Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste”
Meanwhile, in America’s cities, racial tension and violence continue to mount. As I type these words on Friday, September 23, 2016, Charlotte, North Carolina has seen rioting and violence for several days. Keith Lamont Scott, an armed black man, was shot and killed by a black police officer. The Police Chief in Charlotte, Kerr Putney—who also is black—described the incident: “Scott exited his vehicle armed with a handgun as officers continued to yell at him to drop it. He stepped out, posing a threat to the officers.” The protests started out as peaceful, but they didn’t remain that way. Evidence indicates that individuals from outside the city arrived and incited greater anger, causing behavior to turn violent. These instigators apparently have ties to the protests occurring in Ferguson, Missouri, last year. On a video posted on Facebook, a woman claiming that Scott was her father said he wasn’t holding a gun, but a book. If it’s a book, it sure looks like a gun! You can see a photo of it on this page.
As usual, the Obama administration is all too anxious to intervene in a local matter. Attorney General Loretta Lynch told the rioters, “We hear your voices and we feel your pain.” Also, Vanita Gupta, who oversees the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ, “has said that the real reason for riots lies in slavery and Jim Crow.” Is it any wonder that racial tensions have increased under America’s first black president? One is tempted to suspect that President Obama wants to stir things up, and that he and members of his administration will keep pouring gasoline on the fire. A student of Saul Alinsky, the president is following Alinsky’s teaching to never let a serious crisis go to waste.
Tellingly, a black Dallas police officer filed a lawsuit on September 16 against Black Lives Matter. The lawsuit “alleges the group is inciting a race war.” Included in the list of defendants are Black Lives Matter, Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, George Soros, Al Sharpton, and Louis Farrakhan.
Know History and Share It, and Rally Behind Black Conservatives!
Against the disturbing backdrop of violence in our cities, we need to be reminded that history is important—and we need to share the truth about race in America with members of the next generation. Moreover, we need desperately to pray for, support, and encourage the black conservatives among us (also go here).
Thank God for them, their courage, and their leadership! Truly they are modern heroes of today’s American Revolutionary cause—returning the United States of America to its founding principles!
Resources for Digging Deeper:
- Prager University Courses on Race Relations
- Hannity Special featuring African-American Conservatives, program 1, aired 4/8/13
- Hannity Special featuring African-American Conservatives, program 2, aired 6/21/13
- The Center for Urban Renewal and Education, led by Star Parker
- The Coalition of African-American Pastors, led by Reverend Bill Owens
- Larry Elder’s website; his articles at townhall.com
- The African-American Outreach of Priests for Life
- Rebuilding the Man, led by Jesse Lee Peterson
- Taleeb Starkes’ articles at American Thinker
- Carol Swain’s website
- Walter Williams’ website; his articles at townhall.com
Copyright © 2016 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All Rights Reserved.
1In our posts for last week and this week—the final two posts in our series on history—we are discussing two important tools the Democrats use to push their agenda. We devoted our discussion last week to Democrats’ powerful appeal to people’s emotions, especially the emotion of compassion. This week we expose the left’s penchant to personally attack their opponents. We should be aware that progressives have far more tools up their sleeves than these two items. These two, however, are especially powerful.
Top image: Blacks picking cotton on a Southern plantation, 1913
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