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Racism reduced to a liberal smear

Last week Rand Paul made some comments about his support for the 1964 Civil Rights Act during an interview with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, and the media commentary has continued to run since. Paul suggested that Act should not have covered discriminatory policies of private businesses.

It’s hard to see the relevance of having a debate about the 1964 Act today. It seems this is only coming up because some liberals believe that labelling Tea Party supporters and other conservatives as “racists” is an effective argument. In reality, it’s not an argument, it’s just name-calling, and an attempt to shut down real debate.

Today the political use of the term “racism” has become much more about liberals’ attempt to distinguish themselves as morally superior, than anything to do with actual discrimination against black people. Furthermore, the term “racism” has a strong class dimension today: it really is a way to criticize the working class, the out-of-control “mob”. New York Times columnist Frank Rich deploys the race card as much as anyone. In his article this past Sunday, Rich noted that Paul retreated from his position in the Maddow interview, but not before his message had reached his "intended demographic". We're all supposed to know who this code word "intended demographic" refers to - the racist mob, the one that Paul is whipping up by sending messages.  

Ironically, the “racism” smear is re-establishing a new division between those who are supposedly superior and those who are supposedly inferior.

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