In the early 21st Century in the United States a strange phenomenon emerged in public discourse. Whenever an opponent's argument could not easily be dismissed, the cry "Raaaaacist" and "Raaaaacism" was heard, without rhyme or reason.
It's purveyors struck a pose roughly resembling donkeys braying at the moon. So much so, in fact, political scientists at the University of Southern California subsequently invented the R-quotient which has proven to expose relatively reliably a strong (negative) correlation between the bray and vacuously mindless noise, lacking any any rational argument of any kind. Sort of animal-like.
An R-quotient of -1 indicates narrative and speech which appears completely unhinged. An R-quotient of 0 indicates rambling incoherence which make no sense at all. An R-quotient of 1 indicates speech which never mentions racism and generally resembles an argument which permits rational analysis.
A public commentator of the time, one Victor Davis Hanson, chronicled the phenomenon as it emerged during the presidential electoral race of 2012.
(At this time, the R-quotient had not been invented; but it is events such Hanson describes that led to its development.)
4. Race. Racial acrimony sadly is already rising. The more the growing irrelevance of race in society at large, the more the desperation of those careers that cannot continue without it. Rev. Wright, Obama pastor emeritus, last week was, in Alfred Rosenberg-fashion, bemoaning evil “white DNA.” [Obama was the Democratic president at the time, seeking re-election. He lost, and historians subsequently assessed his presidency as a one full of high phrase and rhetoric, but without substance. Rev. Wright was a black minister of religion who attempted to mix classic marxism with the Christian faith in a syncretistic blend known as Liberation Theology. Ed.]It was an interesting time.
I’ll pass on the NAACP convention [an organization of entitled black politicians and influence seekers, Ed.] other than to note that the media sought to accuse Romney [the Republican presidential candidate, Ed.] of racism because he had the fortitude to give his plain message to an audience without pandering. Somehow skipping a sympathetic national NAACP meeting is expected, but venturing into a hostile crowd and trying to win it over with racially blind arguments to economic reason is racist. Suddenly, in the last month or so, everyone from Morgan Freeman, Chris Rock, and James Earl Jones [all actors in the era when Hollywood's influence far exceeded its merits, Ed.]—fading careers all—to the Congressional Black Caucus have weighed in with charges of racism, and sometimes incoherently and in racialist fashion themselves. In the cases of Freeman and Rock, obsession with “white” has become a serial habit.
This is only the beginning. Expect a lot more brief suspensions at MSNBC or CNN [media companies long since bankrupt, Ed.] as commentators indulge in racially polarizing smears. Eric Holder [US Attorney General at the time, Ed.] has already trumped “cowards,” “my people,” and the release of the Black Panthers [a strange throwback to proto-revolutionary groups of the previous century, Ed.] with accusations that congressional inquirers were racist, as was the Arizona immigration law, as was asking for an ID to vote… as is about everything. And before October passes, “clingers,” “typical white person,” “punish our enemies,” and the quips about Skip Gates and Trayvon Martin [random, unimportant folk, but deployed as symbols of raaaaacism, Ed.] will seem passé and mild.
It is not going to be an easy thing to watch, because the no-win logic demands that voting for Obama in 2008 won racial redemption and voting against him in 2012 is proof of racism. End of story. Anything less than 45% of the white vote for Obama is proof of racism; more than 95% of the black vote for Obama is proof of sobriety and open-mindedness. Without evil white men behind the curtain with gears and pulleys, there is only disinterested judgment of the economic record that the Congressional Black Caucus and Barack Obama helped craft—one that has set back the inner city and race relations in general two decades.
We have an ugly summer ahead of us.