On the August 31 episode of Fox News’s The Five, on which Bob Beckel is the token liberal co-host out of five hosts in all, Mr. Beckel said something so arbitrary and of no apparent relevance that the first natural reaction to hearing it would be to blink in silence and expectation that he would elaborate what his point was and supply us with a basis for his claim. What he said was that there were more black people in the band at the Republican National Convention than there were black delegates in the audience.
Were conservatives unaccustomed to this sort of polemic posturing, we might have sat scratching our heads at his odd statement. But we know the game at this stage. Beckel was implying that Republicans are racists.
In order to connect to racism the attendance of a small number of blacks relative to whites at an event, one must believe that blacks are prohibited from that event. But we know this was not the case at the RNC; aside from the blacks in the audience, there were blacks giving speeches on the stage for all to see. Beckel knows this because he watched it.
Of course he doesn’t actually believe the statement he made, that the number of black delegates in the audience could be counted on one hand. He was being rhetorical. Fine.
But he does truly believe most Republicans are racist. He talks about it a lot. His evidence for this belief, and the evidence that many of his fellows use who share his belief, is the number of black people in conservative gatherings, such as Tea Party rallies. According to a USA Today/Gallup poll taken in March 2010, six percent of the Tea Party is made up of blacks. This is roughly half the percentage of the black population in America. Presumably, a group that attracts less than the full percentage of blacks is a racist group.
What Beckel in particular and liberals in general don’t understand or else pretend not to understand is that calling oneself a Tea Party sympathizer is a voluntary act. Buying tickets to the RNC was a voluntary act. Any member of any race can be a Republican, a conservative, a Tea Partier. But approximately 90 percent of blacks identify as Democrats. The simple reason for this is not that the Republican Party doesn’t like blacks, but that blacks don’t like the Republican Party.
How should black people take Beckel’s implication that the only reason blacks show up in larger numbers at Democratic events is because Democrats permit them? Does that mean that blacks are not free to make up their own minds and that the Democrats can, if they wanted to, banish blacks from their presence at any time? Is there not in this belief of the Democrats, when following the logical progression, at least a whiff of white supremacy?