Ya know, it’s almost impossible these days to be a conservative and not be called a racist. Seems it just comes with the territory. Last week I wrote an article critical of President Obama titled Obama Unchained – A Melody America Must Not Sing. (Nowhere in the article did I mention race.)
Oops! I broke the politically incorrect rule which states: A white man shall not criticize a black man. But just so you know what I’m talking about, here is an excerpt from a scathing email I received about my column.
“You racists are comical TRYING to PRETEND this has something to do with policy differences. There is no way in HELL you middle class racists really want to see 1% of the population in solid control of 99% of the wealth with workers having NO RIGHTS to negotiate with greedy corporate owners. There is NO WAY IN HELL you really WANT to pay higher taxes so the filthy rich can pay lower, or NO taxes. All of you tried to get Bachmann, Perry, Gingrich or Santorum to be the candidate and now since it’s vomit Robme, you’ll take him; you’d take Hitler if THAT would get the Black man out of the White House.”
Did I read that correctly? Not only am I a racist, but I hate black people so much I’d rather be governed by Adolf Hitler, arguably the most evil man of modern times, than a black person. Don’t laugh at me. Don’t criticize. Because I suspect this wasn’t an indictment only of me, but of every conservative who dares to speak out against Barack Obama’s policies.
According to the left, you are a racist simply because you are conservative.
I understand the political left playbook. It goes like this:
I criticize Obama.
The left calls me a racist.
I back off because I care about my reputation.
Then I apologize.
Hmm, I don’t like this drill.
I’ve been telling you for weeks now that I’m a redneck. I suspect some of the more perceptive among you are beginning to doubt my claim, but it’s true. (Son, I’m a-tellin’ ya. You give a redneck a college degree, an yer just askin’ fer trouble.) To misquote Steve Martin in his farcical movie-comedy The Jerk, “I was born a poor, white child.”
Of course, that was fifty-five years ago and I haven’t changed all that much. I was raised in a tiny, no-stoplight town in Michigan named Orangeville. We had a severe shortage of black people there. I don’t know why; they just never came around. In fact, the only black people I saw were the ones rioting in the streets and that was on television. As a child, black people scared the crap out of me.
I recall the first time I saw a real, live black person. I was about eight years old, and it was my first trip to the big city of Kalamazoo. We were at some kind of thrift store and I was sitting inside the shopping cart. A black lady walked by and I was terrified she was going to hurt me. I think I even started crying. I had an irrational fear of black folks.
But then at age eighteen I joined the Marine Corps. In boot camp, about a third of my platoon was black. My fear and misunderstanding of black folks was still there, and it jaded my view of them.
But quickly, very quickly, I discovered black people were a lot like white people. Sure, they could dance better, sing better, jump higher, and they definitely talked more cool. But in their core, in their essence, the things that made black people human, were the same things that made white folks human. In Marine Corps boot camp there was no black skin; there was no white skin. All of us were olive drab.
The black men I went through boot camp with, the ones I had sweat with and bled with, those were the people I grew close to. Finally, after 13 weeks in boot camp, we graduated together and became Marines. Not black Marines, not white Marines – just Marines.
Marine Corps boot camp is one of those things you’re glad you did, but equally glad you’ll never have to do again. But all the pain we went through, all the push-ups we did, the miles we ran together, the ridicule we withstood under the drill instructor’s cutting wit; it was all worth it, if, for no other reason, I learned an important fact of life: In the eyes of God, we are all the same.
So, now, when the left assails me with baseless cries of “Racist! Racist! Racist!” I just bow my head and laugh, because I don’t play by their rules. I learned my rules on race in Marine Corps boot camp. They go something like this:
I criticize Obama.
The left calls me a racist.
I remain secure in who I am.
As conservatives we need to be secure in who we are as people, secure with our views, our beliefs and with who we are as human beings. Most importantly, we no longer have the luxury of surrender. This is a war – not a race war – but a war on our freedom.
So, the next time you criticize Obama and someone calls you a racist, just smile and stay the course. He’s not black. He’s not white. He’s olive drab.
Skip Coryell is the author of eight books including Blood in the Streets: Concealed Carry and the OK Corral, RKBA: Defending the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, The God Virus, and We Hold These Truths. He is the founder of The Second Amendment March, a Marine Corps veteran, and the President of White Feather Press. He lives with his family in Michigan.