Jewish World Review Aug 9, 2012/ 21 Menachem-Av, 5772
Who gets a pass?
By Victor Davis Hanson
Oddly, none of these public officials have lectured President Obama to keep clear of their cities. Yet until recently, Obama was likewise on record as opposing gay marriage. Why the exemption?
Nor have the mayors in question disinvited any black churches from their cities. Yet some pastors in churches with black congregations have been quite loud in their denunciations of gay marriage. Fundamentalist Islamic mosques routinely disparage homosexuals, often publicly so in their literature. Is there something about white Christian males that makes their opposition to gay marriage different from that of their black or Muslim counterparts?
Even as Emanuel warned Cathy that his company did not reflect "
Politics -- not just race or religion -- is also a key to the paradoxical double standard. Senate Majority Leader
In 2008, Reid condescendingly attributed presidential candidate
More recently, the crude Reid, in McCarthyesque fashion, claimed that Republican presidential candidate
Reid has demonstrated that he is both vulgar and illiberal, but there are no calls for him to vacate his post. That exemption was not extended to an earlier counterpart, Sen.
There is a common theme here. Our self-appointed priests of fairness from time to time freely commit sins of intolerance. But don't dare hold them to the same sort of accountability to which they hold other, less progressive Americans, whose similarly dumb remarks are not gaffes but rather windows into their prejudicial souls.
We must make allowances for the supposed Biblical conservatism of some black pastors in a way we cannot for the white, Christian CEO of
Such selectivity is untenable. Classical Western liberalism was predicated on judging people as individuals -- and on their merit and performance -- rather than collectively as identity groups identified by gender, race and religion. Using illiberal means to advance supposedly liberal ends results not just in hypocrisy and cynicism, but in the current disaster of "
Politically correct exemption is doomed, because who can sort out the conflicting agendas of various identity groups? Who certifies who's really black, brown or white in a multiracial, intermarried America --
Can black pastors who oppose gay marriage be judged prejudicial? Is the Asian-American who opposes illegal immigration subject to the same charge of nativism leveled at so-called whites?
A simple antidote to multiculturalism and political correctness is to evaluate all Americans on their actual behavior, regardless of their politics, race, gender or religion -- in other words, a return to the ancient liberal idea that one common culture treats all sorts of different people absolutely the same.
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Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.
© 2012, TMS