Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Black and white bigots have more in common with each other than with us.

Posted by sanityinjection on July 21, 2009

My inspiration today comes from this story about opposing protests by black and white racists in the town of Paris, Texas. The New Black Panther Party protest was allegedly over the dragging death of Brandon McClelland. That in turn motivated about a dozen Klansmen and skinheads to counterprotest.

Reading about McClelland’s death, I search in vain for a racial motivation. The mere fact that McClelland was black and the suspects (against whom charges were dropped because of lack of evidence) were white does not make it a racially motivated event, especially since the victim and the suspects were friends who had been drinking together. But it made me ponder the fact that both the black and white racists are more similar to each other than they are to the rest of us. For starters, they both see race and conspiracy  behind absolutely everything. They both have an interest in causing controversy and making mountains out of molehills in order to draw attention to their causes. They even share the same goal of separating whites and blacks.

The idea of this commonality was suggested decades ago in the novels of Allen Drury. In the sequels to his Pulitzer prize winning novel Advise and Consent (still required reading for anyone who wants to understand how Washington really works), Drury wrote of an uneasy alliance between black and white extremist groups, together with a pro-Soviet peace-at-any-cost outfit, all working to undermine a strong American foreign policy. While the grouping was arguably far-fetched, the speeches made by the leaders of the groups revealed that they were in fact flip sides of the same coin.

It’s enough to make one fantasize about marooning them all on a desert island together.


8 Responses to “Black and white bigots have more in common with each other than with us.”

  1. i-love-things-that-sparkle said

    I remember when James Byrd was chained and dragged to his death in Jasper. In fact, that is the very tragedy that came to mind when I wrote the words “bloodier and malicious, and more degrading” yesterday. People here were not only outraged, we were sickened and angered, disgusted and fed-up. Black and white together. So it’s not hard for me to imagine the conflict you are talking about just an hour or so from where I live. Those skinheads are not the white people, like myself, who mourned the death of James Byrd for all its sadness. People are still sick, TO THIS DAY, about James and I am certain when that poor man was dragged (by his drunk friends)to his death, that is what spurred the conflict. The problem is that this was, like you said, a very different incident, but people still remember James and feel empowered to ensure it never happens to anyone else, whether it was real and intended, or completely different. It’s so sad that not everyone can look past the color of our skin and see that we are all just little kids in grown-up bodies, and we really do belong to the same family.

  2. i-love-things-that-sparkle said

    Thank you for putting some sanity into this recent event. Your persective is always appreciated.

  3. In a somewhat similar vein, we have the strange story of the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. Gates, who is black, was arrested for disorderly conduct in the Boston suburb of Cambridge after police found him shortly after breaking into his own home. Gates of course screamed racism, but as this photo of his arrest clearly shows, it was a multi-racial affair:

    The Boston media (as well as the sycophant author of the accompanying Washington Post piece) fell all over themselves to kiss Dr. Gates’ distinguished tuchus. The police wisely dropped the charge against Dr. Gates, who now has the gall to be demanding an apology.

    I suppose it should not come as a shock that the director of Harvard’s “W.E.B. Dubois Institute for African and African American Research” instinctively sees racism behind every tree, though no one else seems to see a connection between studying race 24/7 and seeing it as a primary motivation for everyday behavior. Indeed, Gates arguably has a self-interest to do so: the more racism he can find, the more justification there is for his dubious endowment.

    So far, James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal is the only commentator I’ve seen who has called this one correctly:

  4. Some more common sense on the Gates arrest from Dr. Boyce Watkins:

    “America is far more capitalist than it is racist, so a distinguished Harvard University Professor like Gates is likely to get more respect than the average White American. The idea that he is somehow the victim of the same racism that sends poor Black men to prison simply doesn’t fly with me, and Gates should be careful about appearing to exploit the plight of Black men across America to win his battle of egos with the Cambridge Police Department.”

    Read the rest here:

  5. You can read the actual police report with the arresting officer’s explanation of the events leading up to Gates’ arrest here:

  6. And now it turns out that the arresting officer, Sgt. Crowley, *teaches* a course on racial profiling!

  7. I-love-things-that-sparkle said

    I personally am disgusted that the President said that the police acted “stupidly” by arresting Gates after they found out he lived at that address. That somehow living there gave him a right to yell at a police officer and be disorderly. It just goes to show that it goes both ways, doesn’t it. If you are looking for racism, you can easily find it, even if someone is acting out his duties. I feel badly for the department, that they have to deal with this negative press. This may have been the first time I can personally say that our new President has acted “stupidly.”

  8. I think I will let Harry Stein of New York’s City Journal have the last word on this:

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