We’ve been here before.
On Wednesday’s Ingraham Angle show, Laura had a commentary that is being taken as racist by her political opponents.
The obvious defense of her on this subject is to point to her daughter, who was adopted from Guatemala; or some of her many non-white friends who include people like Dinesh D’Souza.
The problem with that defense is that it assumes that racism must automatically be simplistic and complete. It does not. It is entirely possible for someone to be bigoted yet hold exceptions; “All white people suck except my friend Tommy, he gets it.” That sort of exception-making is nothing new to the American people; Archie Bunker was getting laughs with it in the 1970s as people watched the fictional racist deal with his adoration of Sammy Davis Jr.’s fame and his inherent biases. George Jefferson got laughs as he displayed the same characteristics from the black perspective.
So, it is entirely possible for Ingraham to be racist. There have been accusations of that before; from her instinctive defenses of every plausibly racist statement of Donald Trump (about whom, again, see the prior paragraph) to her odd Nazi-salute reminiscent wave at the RNC to her dustup about Lebron James’ intellect. (USA Today)
Ultimately, it’s impossible to know. Anyone saying that she is absolutely racist is wrong, just as it is wrong to say she is absolutely not.
The issue, then, becomes one of uncertainty. It has long been a problem for all political parties to have members on their fringe who engage in abusive and racist rhetoric. The party faithful are used to half-heartedly defending them with the assurances that they hold no significant sway on the mainstream thought of the party.
This is not to say that the Democrats are suddenly the party against racism. Sarah Jeong’s far more overt and hateful racism was defended only last week by prominent Democrats and Democrat-leaning media. (TNB) As a tech writer for the New York Times, she does not hold nearly as much prominence nor wield as much influence as does Ingraham, but it is undeniable that a position at the Times grants her a wider audience.
The Republicans, however, were claiming at the time that they were the party against bigotry and intolerance. Their defense of Ingraham’s statement Wednesday – direct or simply through silence – demonstrates the lie. Because whether or not Laura is racist, the statement is.
Between Ingraham’s anti-immigrant stance and some of Tucker Carlson’s recent statements (CNN), as well as many racist statements of the President, it becomes ever more difficult for the Republicans to make the case that they are a party that dislikes racism. Instead it seems that, like the Democrats, they only like their brand of it.