This morning, the Daily Tar Heel published two misguided pieces that detracted from America’s quest for racial equality.
The front-page feature story reports that the Rogers Road community near Chapel Hill has inadequate sewage, public transportation, and water systems. The story quoted protesters from the Rogers Road neighborhood who marched down Franklin Street accusing the local government of “environmental racism” for failing to provide adequate infrastructure services.
It’s hard to imagine that the local governments around here are intentionally depriving mostly-black neighborhoods of proper infrastructure services. It’s far more sensible to conclude that poor infrastructure is a result of budget constraints, bureaucracy that is unresponsive to the citizens’ demands, and the time delays that occur whenever government tries to fix something.
Likewise, it’s far more likely that Obama will be judged on the success or failure of his economic policies and not his race.
But the title of the Daily Tar Heel’s featured opinion column was “Bar raised for the first black U.S. president.” The columnist (who holds the “Race Columnist” position at the Daily Tar Heel) claimed that because Obama is partially black, he will have to be more successful than his white counterparts have been:
“But at the end of Obama’s term, Americans will remember whether the first black commander in chief fixed a seemingly endless array of problems. If the first black president created new jobs. If the first black president made the rest of the world not hate America. […] His success or his failure will be that of a black president.”
The columnist warns that a failed Obama presidency will encourage racism: “We hold our presidents to the highest of standards. We cast the first stones when questions arise about their political or personal decisions. But I fear that these stones will be thrown at not only Obama but minority politicians in general if he isn’t successful.”
We no longer live in the 1960’s. Anyone who interacts socially with diverse groups of Americans on a daily basis will realize that racial bigotry is at an all-time low. Race is not why a large percentage of the country dislikes Obama. . . and if you believe otherwise, you are just out of touch.
People dislike Obama because they understand economics. They understand that you can’t pump unlimited amounts of money into the economy. They understand that deficit spending sucks money out of productive uses and gives it to the government, where much of it is lost financing the bureaucracy that manages the money intake, and where even more is wasted on ineffective federal programs.
People dislike Obama because his health care policies are likely to hurt workers. Because he is a fanatical supporter of abortion. Because he wants to require mandatory federally-administrated work programs for college students – when they could be taking on productive internships to prepare them to be our country’s future business leaders instead of driving stakes into the ground or undergoing inane federal civil defense education.
People dislike Obama because he said he would remove workers’ secret-ballot rights. Because his so-called “tax cuts” involve no decreases in the marginal rate for working families (or anyone else). Because he will make it more difficult for families to defend themselves and their property with lawfully-registered weapons.
Ignorning the real, economics-based sources of contempt for Obama, the columnist elevated race to the prime qualification for office. “Obama’s presidency is this nation’s trial run at a little color in the White House and could make or break this country’s confidence in mold-breaking presidents, whether they are black, Latino, female, gay or any other group,” the Daily Tar Heel’s columnist writes.
Being gay, Latino, female, male, black or white is not a qualification for the presidency in a free society. The qualifications for president in a free society include persona, business acumen, economic savvy and negotiation skills. In a society living under mob rule, aesthetics trump policy and politicians exploit popular ignorance to gain an advantage over their opponents. These populists use race, gender and other aesthetic differences to incite anger against fellow citizens.
John Edwards, the rich white politician turned adulterer (who cheated on his wife while she was recovering from cancer), aptly incited bigotry against “the rich.”
All of this nonsense about rich and poor and black and white as the prime differences between Americans is disheartening. We are all Americans. But some of us understand economics, and some of us don’t. Only those who understand economics – the businessmen and women and the capitalists – will help the poor in the long run. Only capitalistic policies have ever increased equality, living standards and income all at the same time.
So when the Daily Tar Heel’s Race Columnist writes,
“And while Obama certainly has enough on his plate to keep him busy over the next four years, I just have one simple request for him: Please don’t screw up,” she should be referring to his policies, and asking for success on behalf of America and all Americans. But the columnist asks for success on behalf of particular races and ethnic groups.
If we are going to achieve equality between races, shouldn’t we seek it out? Shouldn’t we stop dividing people into different classes and start loving each other?
It almost seems that the Daily Tar Heel would like to keep expanding the list of special interest that can petition the government for special treatment. It seems as if the DTH as a paper is not interested in racial equality; for them, the quest for “equality” will end when some groups are far more equal than others. For this, I fault the editorial board.
As for the columnist. . . I belive that her heart is in the right place. But she’s just a little misguided.