James Guy Roberts, American Renaissance, October 2010
James Edwards, Racism, Schmacism: How Liberals Use the “R” Word to Push the Obama Agenda, TPC Press, 2010, 161 pp.
If James Edwards’s Racism, Schmacism weren’t so infuriating, it would be a delight. Actually, it is still a delight in spite of being infuriating. It is infuriating because of the absurdity of the official attitudes toward race in America that Mr. Edwards exposes. It is a delight because he does it, not just with anger and outrage — though clearly he believes there is ample reason for both — but with a sense of humor. If Ann Coulter were about three times more race conscious, she would write this book.
The author is the host of the weekly radio program The Political Cesspool, broadcast from Memphis every Saturday and available on the Web here. Mr. Edwards describes his program as “not for the politically correct or faint of heart.” The same can be said for his book.
Mr. Edwards devotes chapters to such things as President Obama’s Reverend Wright; to the anti-white bias in the National Football League; to Van Jones, the “environment czar,” who was a little over the top even for the Obama administration; and to many of the race hucksters and self-loathing whites with whom the readers of American Renaissance are all too familiar.
Mr. Edwards starts with John McCain’s 2008 election campaign. Senator McCain, he says, was so afraid of being called a racist that “it’s a wonder he didn’t drop out of the race and endorse Obama.” Mr. McCain bent over backwards to avoid the “racist” smear, repudiating ads that mentioned Reverend Wright and disavowing supporters who used Mr. Obama’s middle name “Hussein.” Democrats called him a racist anyway. Why? Because, as Mr. Edwards points out, to the race-baiting political left, all white people, especially “conservatives” and Republicans, are racists by definition. Mr. Edwards urges his readers to understand and ignore the charge of “racism.” It is merely the left’s way of trying to cow its opposition.
Chapter after chapter points out examples of seemingly innocuous behavior by whites that gave rise to charges of “racism.” For example, Jennifer Cunditt, a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines, was encouraging passengers to find seats on her airplane (Southwest does not assign seats) and recited the following rhyme over the PA system: “Eeny meeny miny mo, pick a seat we gotta go.” Although Miss Cunditt, who was in her early twenties, swore she had never heard the catch-a-nigger-by-the-toe version of the rhyme, Southwest was forced to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees to fight a lawsuit brought by irate race hucksters.
In another case, a Dallas county commissioner at a meeting referred to a county office as a “black hole” into which money habitually disappeared. A black county commissioner and a black judge, who were in attendance, interpreted the reference as a racial slur and demanded an immediate apology. In yet another case, the mayor of Columbus, Georgia, actually apologized because a city police officer ate a banana in the presence of a busload of blacks. There was more “food racism” when a child in Lewiston, Maine, left a ham sandwich in sight of a group of children of Somali Muslim immigrants. The child was suspended, and investigated by something called the Center for Prevention of Hate Violence. In Cincinnati, the federal Department of Justice was called in when the school system unwittingly fed a beef taco to a Hindu child.
Mr. Edwards demolishes what he calls “rainbow conservatives.” These are whites who believe that, any day now, blacks are going to start voting conservative. They’re finally going to figure out that they’re just being used by the liberals, who really don’t have their best interests at heart. Blacks will soon realize that due to their “family values” and innate conservatism on social issues, their true ideological home is the Republican Party. In reply, Mr. Edwards points out that nearly three out of four black babies are born out of wedlock, that black women have abortions at nearly five times the white rate, and that blacks are “seven to eight times more likely to commit crimes than white people.” The long-awaited black conversion to “family values” and conservatism is a fantasy.
Mr. Edwards notes that the infamous Jeremiah Wright of Obama’s home church is well known; not so, the work of the black theologian James Cone on which much of Rev. Wright’s theology is based. Rev. Cone summarizes his philosophy: “If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community. . . .” Barack Obama attended Reverent Wright’s sermons for 20 years, but would now have us believe he never listened.
At least Reverend Wright was never appointed to anything. Mr. Obama did, however, appoint Van Jones to the post of “green jobs czar,” whatever that is. Mr. Jones’s earlier claim to fame was as a rabble rouser during the Rodney King riots in San Francisco. He later recalled that during the riot, “I met all these young radical people of color — I mean really radical, communists and anarchists. And it was, like, ‘This is what I need to be part of. . . . [T]he verdicts came down on April 29th. By August, I was a communist.”
Mr. Edwards devotes an entire chapter of Racism, Schmacism to the Henry Louis Gates incident in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which resulted in Mr. Obama’s now-famous “beer summit” on the White House lawn. The facts — as well as Prof. Gates’ infantile behavior — are well known, and Mr. Edwards reminds us of the president’s own prejudiced remarks:
I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that . . . but . . . the Cambridge police acted stupidly . . . [T]here is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.
Mr. Edwards replies: “It’s true that blacks are stopped more often than white people, but it’s not disproportionate at all. There is a very good reason blacks are stopped more often than whites — they commit crimes at far higher rates than white people.” Mr. Edwards points out that the affair was something of a turning point for Mr. Obama. His poll numbers began dropping, and have not stopped.
Some of the most maddening parts of Racism, Schmacism illustrate the overwhelming bias of the media, particularly the entertainment industry. The author advises readers to watch television and movies with a critical eye, to be alert to the ways they portray the races.
In television commercials, in particular, Mr. Edwards writes: “[W]hites . . . especially white men, are constantly held up as objects of ridicule and hatred. They’re humiliated, made to look stupid, silly, spineless, helpless, obnoxious, contemptible, and in more and more cases, evil. To top it off, they’re almost always paired with a non-white, usually a black person, who’s the exact opposite — he or she is smart, quick witted, well dressed, good natured and has it all together.”
For example, in a commercial for the financial firm ING, a foolish white person is quizzed by a perceptive black about his know-nothing investment plan. In a series of AOL ads that feature a stupid white person trying to buy stamps for an e-mail message, the white is always corrected by a superior, ever-patient non-white.
Mr. Edwards gives many more examples, but the point is clear: whites let themselves be ridiculed, lectured to by “superior” non-whites, and generally denigrated. They lap it up without the slightest sign that they understand what is being done to them.
The hypocrisy of the liberal establishment, the naiveté of some conservatives and of many whites in general, and the out-and-out ludicrousness of modern American race relations are parallel themes of this book. James Edwards has many, many examples of each and he relates them with an élan that will have you chuckling, in spite of the evidence of the serious trouble they represent. For those who want to follow up on his research, he carefully footnotes the source of each anecdote and quoted passage, pointing to easily accessible websites.
This book is a gem, and I am looking forward to his next one.