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May 28, 2014 4:29 PM That’s Kind of Racist

By Martin Longman

While Jamelle Bouie marshals data to make the case that racial minorities have done better economically during Democratic presidencies than Republican ones, Kevin Williamson pouts that he has been misunderstood. He never said that blacks are “the helpless victims of cynical racial bribery;” he said that they are collectively a bunch of morons equivalent to the people who rely on psychics and horoscopes for life advice or the rubes who fall for “crackpot weight-loss programs.”

Mr. Williamson dismisses the entirety of Bouie’s argument with a wave of the hand: “…a column organized around the preposterous superstition that national economic conditions are substantially shaped by the party identification of the person residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…” He then proceeds to accuse black people and women of being risk-averse because they have such recent experiences of being excluded from the workplace.

What I have argued is that black voters, like single women, prefer the Democratic party and welfare-statist policies because they are remarkably risk-averse compared to traditional conservative constituencies such as white men and business owners. For blacks and women to entertain some suspicion of economic arrangements that have within living memory formally excluded them, and to regard interventionist economic policies as a hedge against economic abuses, is not irrational. It is erroneous, but not irrational

…As voters, African Americans and single women are the political equivalent of people who embrace crackpot weight-loss programs or consult psychics: Their agency is not in question, but their judgment is. You don’t just trip and fall into a psychic’s den or accidentally end up with a stomach full of cotton balls spritzed with orange juice.

Right. So, they are not “irrational;” they’re stupid. Just like it isn’t irrational (only stupid) to consult Tarot Cards or fall for the latest diet fad.

It’s good of Kevin Williamson to continue the National Review’s fine tradition of racial sensitivity.

Martin Longman is the Web Editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune. He has worked as a community organizer for ACORN/Project Vote and as a political consultant for Democracy for America.

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