Monday, July 29, 2013

American Thinker: Hey Cowards, Let's Have a Conversation

I have worked with many couples in distress.  Initially, the work involves preventing conversation until the rhetoric of the relationship can be improved.  Happy couples mainly talk about their lives; unhappy couples mainly talk about each other.  In doomed relationships, couples use words to humiliate each other.  And as the doomed relationship collapses, the partners become more desperate to spew insults and make the other hear them.

Barack Obama and Eric Holder stand their ground together upon a framing of race so false and degrading that it would inevitably tear the American people apart.  
Attorney General Holder used an utmost humiliating term in calling Americans cowards. He did this with the approval of President Obama, who fully stands by his man each time Holder's wrecking ball takes a swing at the Constitution.  Holder's purpose in shaming Americans was to demonstrate his power as untouchable.  But Holder's abusive language, and the contempt it shows, bore within it the seeds of doom for blame-and-shame race rhetoric.
Social science research uses a model called frame analysis to understand social movements:
"Framing is a process whereby communicators, consciously or unconsciously, act to construct a point of view that encourages the facts of a given situation to be interpreted by others in a particular manner. Frames operate in four key ways: they define problems, diagnose causes, make moral judgments and suggest remedies. Frames are often found within a narrative account of an issue or event, and are generally the central organizing idea."  - Jim A. Kuypers, Rhetorical Criticism: Perspectives in Action
Since the end of legalized racial segregation in the 1960s, the central organizing idea of race relations in America has been that white people are still racist and black people are still victims.  This rhetorical frame operates as follows:
1) The problem: the greatest problem in America is that black Americans have lower incomes and poorer health, and are generally less successful than white people.
2) The cause: white racism, which is the primary moral evil in America.  All white people enjoy white privilege, and all black people are victims of white racism, regardless of individual circumstances.
3) Moral judgment: black Americans are not morally responsible for their generally lower achievements and drastically higher criminality because these problems can be traced to white racism.
4) The remedies: keep the focus on white racism; maintain permanent special rights, including affirmative action, racial preferences, and lowered performance standards.  Accept that white racism causes disproportionately high numbers of black people to depend on the government for basic necessities such as food and medical care.  Maintain a "national conversation" about white racism.
The Obama administration exists because of this framing.  No one suggests that Barack Obama would have been nominated by the Democratic Party for the presidency based on his record alone if he had been white.  But still, the framing of race rhetoric that the government advances is breaking down from the weight of its own falseness.

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