South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, Utah Representative Mia Love, and retired pediatric neurosurgeon and GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson – what do these three established individuals have in common? Well, they’re all black conservatives. They’ve also been labeled “tokens” and “Uncle Toms” by a vast array of liberals and progressives who refuse to recant the accusation that conservatives and Republicans are, generally speaking, racist. What this effectively does is rob these wonderful people of their dignity and of their independence while simultaneously calling into question their intelligence and their integrity. Yet, even though these insults are fundamentally rooted in Scott’s, Love’s, and Carson’s race, no one ever accuses these liberals and progressives of being racist.
It is interesting, then, that when conservatives criticize a liberal black man or woman for their decisions, opinions, or policies, you can always hear murmurs (or very often, outright cries) of racism, or at least people openly entertaining the idea that “race probably plays a role here.” This is simply assumed as a matter of course.
What this sort of double-standard really comes down to is a form of prejudice against conservatives. It seems that a lot of people operate under the assumption that if someone is racist, they must be conservative, that, generally speaking, only conservatives can be racist. This is a judgment, an assumption that is made about conservatives.
It is striking that this particular type of judgment, this assumption based on political ideology, doesn’t bother liberals. After all, people make these “judgments” and “assumptions” based on skin color as well, and this has race-baiters (who are, without seeking to speak divisively, largely liberal) like Al Sharpton crying racism 24/7.
In effect, what liberals who assume racist motives among conservatives are doing is the same thing police officers sometimes do when they encounter a group of, for instance, young black males in a suspicious situation. In this instance, the police might make a judgment, an assumption (voluntarily or involuntarily) that, based on previous experience or because young black males commit a disproportionate number of crimes, these young black males they’ve encountered in a situation must be committing some sort of crime – regardless of whether this is actually the case. It’s an assumption, a judgment that is made (again, voluntarily or involuntarily) based, superficially, on the young men’s race.
Similarly, to get back to the original thought: liberals make assumptions and judgments about conservatives. The assumption/judgment becomes about ideology instead of race, but it remains an assumption and a judgment, so it’s operating using precisely the same principle.
Thus, to bring this full circle: race-baiting liberals who are constantly and without real cause accusing conservatives of racism are doing the exact same thing they criticize in others. They chide police officers for making assumptions based on a set of perceived experiences and call them racist, but then they go around and make the same assumptions about conservatives.
Ultimately, the point of this post is not to pompously declare that we must totally disallow assumption-making. That isn’t a reasonable proposition because we’re all human, and we all make assumptions and pronounce judgments (voluntarily and involuntarily) every time we assemble a thought. What we should strive for, however, is to encourage people to look past their assumptions and make a concerted effort to become more open-minded, so that given the time to contemplate an issue, we are not speaking or making decisions BASED ON those assumptions.