Maria Bartiromo Pretty Sure Systemic Racism Fixed Now, Because 'Obama'
After a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris pissed off conservatives something fierce when they didn't unfurl a big "Mission: Accomplished, Racism Now Over" banner. Harris said that “a measure of justice is not the same as equal justice," because while Black people appreciate when our murderers are held accountable, we'd prefer agents of the state not kill us in the first place. Yeah, we're just like Prince's mother from "When Dove's Cry": Never satisfied.
Biden even correctly noted that Chauvin's guilty is a rare outcome, and systemic racism is a “stain on our nation's soul." This obviously means he hates America, which is perfect. Fox Business propagandist Maria Bartiromo and evil incarnate Newt Gingrich whined about Biden's remarks last week.
"Instead of coming out and having a neutral, fair tone while we all needed to be lifted up, you have President Biden and Vice President Harris yesterday trashing America, telling us we are systemic racists," Bartiromo complained.
The president stating that there is systemic racism in America doesn't mean he's calling all Americans racists. This is a such a tiresome dodge from conservatives who aren't interested in fixing the problem or even acknowledging it exists.
Gingrich argued that Chauvin's verdict proved that America isn't racist because the “system" convicted a white police officer who slowly murdered a Black man for nine minutes and 29 seconds in front of horrified citizens. Keep lowering that bar, Newt.
GINGRICH: If we were, in fact, systemically racist, how did the system convict a white policeman? It's a repudiation of their entire worldview to look at that and realize the system worked.
No, the system didn't work, because the system shouldn't involve cops routinely murdering Black people. Conservatives won't shut up about how crime-ridden Chicago and Washington, DC, are, but gang members are usually prosecuted after killing people. They don't consider this a ringing endorsement of the system. George Floyd is dead, and Derek Chauvin would've gotten away with it if literally not for a “meddling kid" who recorded his brazen daylight heist of Floyd's life. The police's original account of Floyd's death was shameful fiction. The police chief who broke the thin blue line and testified against Chauvin was Black, and Minnesota's Black attorney general, Keith Ellison, was the one who charged Chauvin with second-degree murder. The white Hennepin County DA only charged Chauvin with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Bartiromo also favored us with some bizarre anti-racism math: America can't be racist because one out of 46 presidents was Black.
"And by the way, if we're so systemically racist, why did we elect a Black man to be the leader of the free world and have him serve two terms? President Barack Obama."
Note that she feels it necessary to remind us who the first (and so far only) Black president is. Conservatives love to say “we" elected Barack Obama, like it was a collective effort in which they willingly participated.
Obama smoked the late Senator John McCain in the 2008 presidential election, but he did so with just 43 percent of the white vote. If only white people voted, McCain and his carefully chosen running mate Sarah Palin (!) would've enjoyed a Ronald Reagan-1984-style blowout. When Obama won re-election in 2012, his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, carried 59 percent of the white vote to Obama's 39 percent. Mike Dukakis, Al Gore, and John Kerry all performed better among white voters than Obama in 2012, and he didn't just barely win. He cashed out with 332 electoral votes and 51 percent of the popular vote.
White people weren't suddenly less racist in 2008 and 2012. There were just fewer white voters proportionately. White voters accounted for 88 percent of the electorate in 1980; 86 percent in 1984; 85 percent in 1988; 87 percent in 1992; 83 percent in 1996; 81 percent in 2000; and 77 percent in 2004. That number had dropped to 74 percent in 2008 and 72 percent in 2012. The late Walter Mondale had 91 percent Black support and 66 percent Latino support, but that didn't even help him carry California or New York. Black voters were 10 percent of the electorate and, most starkly, Hispanics were only three percent in 1984. The Hispanic vote was 13 percent of the electorate, tying with Black voters, in 2020.
Lindsey Graham says systemic racism isn't an issue in America because Barack Obama and Kamala Harris were elected https://t.co/PqRdoeWmHW— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1619356569.0
During an interview Sunday, South Carolina GOP Senator Lindsey Graham added Vice President Harris to the short list of reasons for why systemic racism doesn't exist. He didn't support Harris, and he was even present when white supremacists attacked the Capitol in a last-ditch effort to overturn her victory. White voters were just 67 percent of the electorate in 2020. This is why Republicans actively try to prevent POC from voting, and Fox News hosts argue that “diversity" is weakening the nation.
An increasingly diverse population is helping make the country less racist, but that “we" doesn't include Republicans.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."