Skip to comments.Why Jews and blacks vote Democratic: Part II (Dennis Prager)
Posted on 01/27/2003 9:23:40 PM PST by kattracks
In Part I, I argued that it is not Democratic positions that most entice nearly all blacks and the great majority of Jews to vote Democrat. Rather this lopsided voting is more a function of the two groups' respective memories.
As a result of millennia of Christian oppression of them, many Jews still fear religion, particularly Christians and Christianity, even though all the Christian anti-Semitism was European; and as a result of the Nazis, many Jews fear anything labeled "right wing." As for blacks, because of centuries of slavery and racism, many black Americans continue to harbor great anger at whites and at America.
If these memories accurately assessed today's white, Christian and right-wing Americans, Jews' and blacks' overwhelming support for the Democrats would surely make sense. Indeed, they would mandate such voting.
But these memories do not apply today, and therefore they are having a paralyzing effect on America's Jews and blacks.
The fact is that most white Americans have changed; most are no longer racist. Regarding race, most white Americans would probably like nothing more than to forget about race, as they no longer deem either their own whiteness or blacks' blackness to be of particular significance. I know from years of speaking to black callers to my radio show, however, that this is almost impossible for many of them to believe. They ask, in effect, "Are we blacks really supposed to believe that in the course of one generation an entire mindset -- that of white racial superiority -- has simply disappeared?"
The answer is largely, though of course not universally, yes. One reason is that most Americans are decent people, another is the non-racist education they have received. A third is the unprecedented personal and media exposure to blacks that this generation of whites has received. And a fourth reason is that in order to believe that skin color determines a person's traits or worth, you have to be not only evil, you have to be an ignoramus; and regarding race, most Americans are no longer ignoramuses. They know too many wonderful people of all races.
As for Jews' fears of American Christians, they are even less fact-based than blacks' continuing anger at whites. American Christians were never the anti-Semites of Jewish memory. Those were European Christians who persecuted Jews for all those years, precisely the Christians that America's (Christian) founders fled to establish this different society. American Jews' fears of American Christians are therefore simply irrational, especially now when Christian Americans (outside of the National Council of Churches) are the Jews' and Israel's most loyal friends.
Memory also explains American Jews' irrational fears of the right. Because the Nazis are widely deemed far rightists (yes, Nazism stood for National Socialism, but no leftists or socialists considered it an ideological ally), Jews continuing to only look rightward for anti-Semitic threats is both silly and dangerous. It is silly because it is like looking only to the right when you cross a two-way street because your grandfather was killed by a car coming from the right. And it is dangerous because since World War II, and at this very moment, the greatest anti-Semitism has come from the left.
The result of all these misperceptions on the part of blacks and Jews is that the Democratic Party understands that in order to maintain its overwhelming black and Jewish support, it must abet black anger at whites and abet Jews' fears of Christians and conservatives. And this they do well, to the great detriment of the country.
There are signs, however, that this strategy, at least vis-a-vis the Jews, is beginning to fail. Many Jewish Democrats are thanking God that Christian conservative Republicans (George W. Bush and Dick Cheney) rather than Democrats (Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman) are in the White House. And as they look around, they find that in a world that once again has a cold spot in its heart for the Jews, virtually all their allies are conservatives.
As for blacks, I am less sanguine about the immediate future. A generation of blacks has been repeatedly told by their leaders, by liberal educators, liberal media, and by the Democratic Party that America and whites are racist. They have also been told that the only way out of the social problems that plague parts of black life is through the Democratic Party.
What then should Republicans do? Talk to and especially listen to blacks. Most blacks want, more than anything else, to know that they are being heard. We can ask blacks not to allow their memories of centuries of racism to cloud their views of America today, but they can ask the rest of us not to forget those centuries. We therefore have to say sincerely to blacks, "We will not forget what this country did to you." Only when blacks know that we remember, will they allow themselves to stop being preoccupied with remembering.
With Christians speaking up for Jews and conservatives hearing blacks' memories, the Democrats will no longer be able to win elections by appealing to black anger and Jewish fear. What a better America that will be.
©2003 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
Contact Dennis Prager | Read his biography
And rarely ever inflicted by Protestants.
While I agree that the severity of anti-Semitism was never like that of Europe (no Holacaust or pograms of course), still up until the last 30 years ago, Jews were formally and informally discriminated against all the time. Many clubs, businesses, neighbrohoods and sororaties and fraternaties did not admit Jews except since the civil rights movement. It's simply not accurate to say Americans generally (conservatives included) have not been anti-Semitic--remember also before WWII there were numbers of Americans who supported and did business with the Nazis. I think for the most part American anti-Semitism was shocked out of us by knowlege the Holacaust, however amoung certain WASP types...its still there.
Unfortunately I think many Jews are overly sensitive...so to genuinely disagree on religion (I've heard modern Jewish analysis call the New Testament anti-Semitic) or variance of full support of Israel... is often now called anti-Semitic. There is the confusion too of the european model of Left-Right (commies v. fascist) as opposed to the American model of Liberal/Conservative (socialists v. constitutionalists....) which I think is significant too, since many Jews are only 2 or 3 generations away from the horrors (and big governments) of Europe.
One other thing about blacks.... To blacks, particularly older ones, to be "conservative" was to be for (democrat-instituted-and-maintained yes) segregation. There really was a Southern strategy by Republicans...started by Nixon, to get the most conservative southern democrats to become Repubs, and it worked. Hence we have Strom Thurmond and Trent Lott...both dyed in the wool Democrats when they began in politics. Now I'm not saying that either (and their constituents) haven't changed....I'm only saying the PERCEPTION as we saw by Lott's lynching...is that they haven't. And those activists who overcame segregation were ALSO (very liberal, for the time) Democrats.... Repubs did indeed vote for civil rights legislation more than Dems...still, M.L. King, T. Marshall, Bobby Kennedy and various SYMBOLS of the Civil Rights movement were Democrats. (don't get me wrong....all I'm talking about is perceptions...as I know a lot of these guys were racist underneath too). The Repubs...who were in the middle really...not opposing the Civil Rights movement (like Wallace or other southern Dems did) but neither were they at the forefront.
What's happened now, is the Democrat party has sucessfully helped erase the memory that the hardcore racists were of their party....blacks seem to remember only the liberal Democrats whom they see as their saviors. The black civil rights "establishment" has seen to that too...clinging to the 'rats for power.
Blacks continue to believe the empty promises of the (liberal) Democrats....to their peril. Jew's too, need to read the writing on the wall, and see that religioius Christians are not their enemy--while the Left is.
I have never heard that there were any organized efforts to keep Jewish individuals from living more or less where they wanted or to prevent them from working at certain professions.
This is a deep point.
One of the things that absolutely infuriates me with certain posters here is that they totally refuse to admit and/or acknowledge the blood, sweat, and tears that were expended to force America to not only accept us as citizens, but as human beings. These are the ones who pooh-pooh that particular history of our nation (hence I ask those who say we are losing our freedoms to tell me when was America truly a "free" nation). It's as if what was done meant absolutely nothing.
I don't live in the past. In fact, I roll my eyes whenever I see a thread about Lincoln/Confederacy/WBTS. It's the 21st century for crying out loud. But I'm not gonna lie. If I were at a roundtable discussing certain issues about race and our history with some here, I will rip the lungs out of the chests of those who disregard and disrespect my forebears' struggles with my bare hands.
I, as one young black man, do not wish for anything from anyone other than what is my birthright, and that is to be what I am: An American with ALL rights and privileges that comes with being an American. Those red stripes in Old Glory represent my forebears' blood, too. My citizenship was bought and paid for therein (I served this nation that I adore, too).
If our history is to be honored and learned from, don't disrespect our place in it.
It's as simple as that.
Oh, and RLK, this is especially for you.
Birth of Tha SYNDICATE, the philosophical heir to William Lloyd Garrison.
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It will be when the dream is real. Those of us who constantly fight for constitutionalism in property rights and 2nd amendment rights must never forget the fallen that fought for the constitutional right of equality.
Uh, I am not in the business of psychotherapy unless I'm getting paid for it. I'm not into hearing other people's emotional displays.
Most people's ancestors, Irish, Polish, Ukranian, Chinese, or whatever went through centurys of oppression somewhere along the line. There was a time when an Irishman was worth more dead than alive. Blacks are nothing special in that regard.
As far as blacks "memories of centuries of racism," very few black people I know were around centuries ago any more that very many Poles. One can't have memories of what happened before you existed except in dramatic arts expositions. I'm not into dramatic arts.
As far as this, " If I were at a roundtable discussing certain issues about race and our history with some here, I will rip the lungs out of the chests of those..." shit, you have an attitude. It could get you in a pile of trouble.
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