Fox News And White Racial Paranoia

by Jonathan Chait | June 13, 2011

David Gelertner's unhinged rant in the Weekly Standard raises a lot of interesting questions, mostly centering around the apparent lack of editing at the magazine, but the most interesting of which involve race. The piece, which begins by accusing President Obama and his supporters of not loving America and ends with accusing liberals of "indescribably low and dirty attacks," makes a few telling observations about race. Gelertner celebrates "the all-but-eradication of race prejudice," which is a useful summary of conservative thought. Traditional white-on-black racism is virtually gone, confined to a few KKK whackos. But black-on-white racism, and the powerful use of unfounded accusations of anti-black racism to silence dissent, is a powerful and thriving force.

Meanwhile, this kind of thing can be found on Fox News:

Jeff Goldberg lends some context:

Let us put aside the fact that Common, the "hood" who was visiting Obama's "hizzhouse," is really not much of a hood, comparatively speaking. And let us put aside the fact that Gabon's president, while a disreputable person, was visiting the White House not only in his capacity as president of his country but because Gabon currently holds the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council. Bolling sees images of two black people who are entirely unrelated to each other and draws the conclusion that our black president adores all black people, in particular black people Bolling believes are miscreants.
Bolling, and his Fox supervisors, may not be aware of this, but there are many independent nations in Africa, and the United States has diplomatic relations with nearly all of them. Very often, the leaders of these independent nations will visit Washington in order to meet with our president. Ali Bongo's father, the late Omar Bongo, actually visited Washington and met with President Ronald Reagan, who had this to say after their bilateral meeting: "President El Hadj Omar Bongo has been a very welcome guest at the White House. This has been a long-awaited visit that has given us a chance to return the generous hospitality President Bongo personally accorded to so many representatives of this and earlier administrations."

Can Gelertner or any other conservative explain this video as the expression of anything other than race prejudice? And does the fact that it can be featured on a mainstream news network, passing muster among a host, a producer, and any other number of staffers responsible for approving it, without objection, tell us anything important about the acceptability of such prejudice?

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/jonathan-chait/89867/fox-news-and-white-racial-paranoia