Monday, 03 May 2010

The absence of blacks is more significant than the presence of whites. Dennis Prager confuses me. In an attempt to mitigate the overwhelming whiteness of the tea partiers, Prager argues that "the virtual absence of blacks from tea party rallies cannot possibly reflect anything negative on the black and minority absence, only on the white tea partiers." Is he employing "virtual" as an intensifier and admitting that these tea parties are abundantly white affairs? Or is he claiming that there is merely a "virtual absence of blacks," but that in reality tea parties are teeming with blacks? Clearly he means the former, which is quite the confession in itself, but he confuses the issue by blaming minorities for being inherently irrational and not supporting his position: But in a more rational and morally clear world, where people judge ideas by their legitimacy rather than by the race of those who held them, people would be as likely to ask why blacks and ethnic minorities are virtually absent at tea parties just as they now ask why whites predominate. They would want to know if this racial imbalance said anything about black and minority views or necessarily reflected negatively on the whites attending those rallies. Note that Prager himself is not asking these questions: the hypothetical rational inhabitants of a morally clear world are. That they happen to agree with Prager is beside the point. The point is that these hypothetical rational people want to know why "blacks and ethnic minorities" are so irrational they refuse to attend events hosted by rational people who just happen to be white. If only minorities would stop thinking for themselves and looking out for their own self-interest long enough to listen to what the hypothetical rational people (and their proxies like Prager) have to say, they would see the error of their ways and choose to attend tea parties. Which is to say: the tea parties will become more diverse when minorities become rational and decide to defend white interests. I have a feeling this paternalistic insult will be received quite differently than Prager intended, but who knows? Maybe minorities really are irrational. We should monitor the racial composition of tea parties and find out for ourselves.

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