Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), who is black, shamefully played the race card on the floor of Congress this week as he rebuked his Republican colleagues because “you are all white males.” Richmond’s clearly racist remarks included the accusation that the “white males” were disagreeing with him because of either “conscious” or “unconscious bias.” The House Judiciary Committee was holding a hearing on proposed legislation to reform police practices. Richmond objected to voting on a Republican-backed amendment to investigate Antifa.
Richmond bragged that, “As a black male who went to the fifth-best public high school in the country, who was a victim of excessive force, who has a black son, who has worries that you all don’t, and to my colleagues, especially the ones that keep introducing amendments that are a tangent and a distraction from what we’re talking about, you all are white males, you have never lived in my shoes and you don’t know what it is like to be an African-American male.” He then suggested that black men face a daily threat from law enforcement that white males can’t possibly understand. He made a reference to the current riots with, “People on the streets are demanding action.”
“We are not good friends,” an angry Richmond concluded. “All I’m sayin’ is if you are opposed to this legislation, let’s just have the vote, but please do not come in this committee room and make a mockery of the pain that exists in my community.” In other words, if you disagree with me, you are mocking my community’s pain. If you disagree with me, you are all racists and therefore have no right to disagree with me. It is a specious line of reasoning that belongs in Venezuela, not in the US Congress.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) strongly objected to Richmond saying that white men could not understand the issues. Gaetz was livid that Richmond raised the ugly specter of race. “Who in the hell do you think you are?” Gaetz asked. He was justifiably upset by Richmond’s condescending manner. Richmond seems to believe that his race entitles him to disregard normal courtesy. Richmond’s response to Gaetz: “Kicked dogs holler.”
In typical fashion, the media has referred to Gaetz, a Trump supporter, as “a far right-wing Florida firebrand” who “was clearly looking for a fight.” Richmond appeared to be the one looking for a fight as he deliberately baited Gaetz and other Republican members of the committee. All Gaetz did was respond to the provocation. Richmond’s belligerent, holier-than-thou attitude was appalling. It reflects a trend, emanating from the recent rash of Black Lives Matter riots, that (1) blacks are entitled to more consideration than other races or ethnic groups, and that (2) whites are not entitled to object.
The assumption floated by BLM is that blacks have a monopoly on racism. Try telling that to Hispanics, Jews, Irish, Italians, Asians, and other groups that have been on the receiving end of discrimination and intolerance. The black experience of racism, while abhorrent, is not unique to blacks. It does not give blacks the right to demand the breakdown of law and order that we have witnessed in cities throughout the country. It does not justify the destruction of our institutions and the eradication of American values in order to make restitution for black grievances, which is what BLM preaches.
Demands for giving special treatment to any one group are in violation of the equal protection clause. They are also the worst kind of racism. So is using the race card to bully your way through a debate in the House of Representatives.