Sylvia Thompson
Racial pandering is detrimental to justice and conservatism
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By Sylvia Thompson
April 18, 2015

Now that phone cameras proliferate the American landscape, it seems more and more difficult for justice to prevail as blindly as she has in the past. And too often the punditry do not help the cause of justice in the ways that they report or fail to report facts. I expect leftist commentators to jump to conclusions without sufficient facts in legal matters, but it becomes extremely annoying when that same behavior comes from professed conservatives. The conservative Sean Hannity is a good example of this disturbing phenomenon.

In one of Hannity's shows that addressed the recent shooting of a fleeing, unarmed black man, Walter Scott, by police officer Michael Slager in North Carolina, Hannity hosted two black commentators to discuss the incident. They were Jesse Peterson, a conservative black columnist and Leo Terrell, a leftist black lawyer. What Hannity hoped to accomplish by pairing Leo Terrell, a perennial rabble rouser in all issues of race, and Jesse Peterson, a strong black conservative, is difficult to determine except for possibly wanting to provide a show. What viewers got was a day-nursery performance, where Peterson was the only adult on the stage. Terrell eventually marched out of the studio in a huff, which I cheered. He is an unbearable, bullying character like so many leftists. His vacating the scene gave Jesse Peterson more time to make his case without interruption.

Peterson offered, in effect, that we should wait for due process to play out before we marched Officer Slager off to the gallows. After all, full details of the case were unknown at the time. Lending credence to the despicable behavior of Leo Terrell, Hannity shockingly tells Jesse Peterson that this was not the time for due process. He claimed that "due process" is "an argument for another day." Really? Due process in a nation based in laws must wait for another day? No. Due process does not wait for another day; it is for now and always in a nation of laws and not raging emotions. Suspects are innocent until proven guilty despite videos. As a conservative, Sean Hannity should know that, and it is disturbing that he seems not to.

Thankfully, there are articulate black conservatives who can dilute the harm that such shallow reasoning can do to the larger conservative movement when it comes to issues of race. Jesse Peterson is one of those conservatives. Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke is another. He made a similar point to Peterson's on the Fox Business channel, Lou Dobbs show.

Sheriff Clarke revealed that although he is greatly disturbed by the shooting, he wants to wait for all the facts to unfold, even in face of Dobbs' seeming to goad him into lashing out at the officer's behavior, as Dobbs himself was doing. Sheriff Clarke mentioned times when "clean shoots" (justifiable shootings by officers) were initially thought to be unacceptable behavior, but were later proven to be justified. He, therefore cautioned against a rush to judgment.

In a similar vein, Sean Hannity excoriated his two black guests in a discussion of white fraternity brothers (Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Univ. of Oklahoma) singing a ridiculous, racist song during a bus trip. Someone anonymously filmed the occasion and posted it on social media. As is par for the course in our racialist society (compliments of Barack Obama and Eric Holder) the PC brainwashed university administrators quickly shut down the fraternity and expelled some of the participants from the university.

The black guests this time were David Webb, a conservative talk radio host and Michael Meyers, a commentator on race. Both men tried to impress upon Hannity that the concept of free speech is not to be violated on emotional whim. It is ironic that in an issue of race, two black men exhibited more conservative fortitude than Sean Hannity could muster. In an emotional, over-the-top screaming episode, he claimed that they were both "wrong." The only person wrong in that scenario was Sean Hannity.

Both Webb and Meyers could see that although they, indirectly, were the objects of the racist silliness in the song, that fact does not negate the fraternity members' right to sing it, particularly in a private setting. That is what the concept of "free speech" is all about, and it does not help that professed conservatives like Hannity are supportive of stifling free speech when it comes to race. David Webb offered that a suspension from classes would have been sufficient punishment for the fraternity members; expulsion from college is punitive. That Hannity could not see this, to me, indicates a shallowness in reasoning ability, which is not a good trait for a conservative.

The fraternity bus incident is similar to the case of former basketball team owner Donald Sterling. Sterling's adulterous mistress recorded a racial rant (without his knowledge) that he delivered in a private conversation between the two of them. Subsequently the mistress published the tape. In this instance, Hannity joined the leftist "lynch mob" and insisted that Donald Sterling should lose his sports team as a result of the revelation. (Side note: I read recently that Mrs. Sterling sued and was granted ample monetary compensation from the adulteress. Score one for the wives!)

Not to lay it on too thick for Sean Hannity, who seems a very decent man, I must add that he also jumped to conclusions about Cliven Bundy's so-called "racist" tendencies. Hannity, accepted without question a supposedly racist comment made by Cliven Bundy in a New York Times interview. That comment later proved to have been purposely misrepresented by the Times reporter.

These instances display what I view as an over-sensitivity to issues involving blacks, in an attempt to assure oneself that there is no hint of racism in how these issues are perceived. I call it "racial pandering," and Sean Hannity is far from the only commentator with this problem. This behavior is detrimental to the cause of conservatism, because it reveals weakness that racists can quickly detect and exploit. In addition, as I have shown, it perverts justice.

Conservatives cannot allow racialist thinking to cloud our reasoning. This means for white conservatives, never accept that you need absolution for being white. There need be no apologetic amendments to strong statements of conservatism that may fly in the face of political correctness. And do not ever walk back any statement of truth. For black conservatives, this means that we must refuse to allow ridiculous behavior by some white folks, especially when the behavior has no bearing on anything of import, to play any part in preventing our holding fast to conservative, godly, constitutional principles. An assignation of "Uncle Tom" be damned.

True conservatism requires the ability to reason deeply whatever the situation may be. Shallowness is a hallmark of liberal leftism.

© Sylvia Thompson

 

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Sylvia Thompson

Sylvia Thompson is a black conservative writer whose aim is to counter the liberal spin on issues pertaining to race and culture... (more)

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