Last week, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen took the time to share his revelation that slavery was a bad thing—he saw Twelve Years a Slave, you see.
It was a terrible, ignorant column. Not to be outdone by his own work, however, he uses this week's space to offer his perspective on interracial marriage, nestled in the middle of a piece on Chris Christie’s potential problems with the Tea Party:
When I read this, my inclination was to give Cohen the benefit of the doubt. He wasn’t describing his feelings as much as he was trying to offer a portrait of the socially conservative voters who dominate the Republican Party. But, thinking about it, that’s a bit too generous. For starters, it begins with an assertion of Cohen’s opinion: “Today’s GOP is not racist.” That frames the rest of the paragraph as coming from his perspective, a perspective which holds that “People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex” when considering an interracial couple.
It’s an odd way to start a sentence. If social conservatives opposed interracial marriage, then—by definition—they’d be racists! As it stands, they don’t. According to a Gallup survey released this summer, 87 percent of Americans “approve” of marriage between blacks and whites, including 84 percent of the latter.
As soon as you consider the reality of public opinion, Cohen’s paragraph looks a lot less like description and a lot more like projection. It’s Cohen who feels disgusted when he sees interracial couples, and he’s hoisting that view on social conservatives as if they’re not his own. And if that sounds unfair, it’s worth remembering that this is the same Richard Cohen who thinks we should profile young black men as potential criminals, and restrict their freedom, lest we all suffer for political correctness. Honestly, I have to wonder if Cohen has an editor, or if there’s no one who can stop him from writing this racist nonsense.
One last thing: I’m not offended by this as much as I am amused by its terribleness. If there’s anyone who should be offended, it’s actual social conservatives, who have just been smeared as a bunch of retrograde racists for the sake of Cohen’s discomfort. With that said, I have a bit of advice for the Post columnist: The next time he wants to generalize his racism to a broader group, he should do so for a friendlier audience. And as it happens, I hear Stormfront is always looking for new writers.