Remembering Who We Are—D.C. McAllister

 

When I heard Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s comments about African Americans and their dependence on government, I reacted the same way as I imagine many of you did. “Oh no. . . just what we need. . . . now we’re all racists.”

Many on the right have been rallying around Bundy and his stand against the federal government over grazing rights, but when he made a speech this week comparing the condition of blacks under slavery to their dependency on the government, several GOP politicians distanced themselves from him. Who can blame them, given this politically correct environment? 

This situation reminds me of so many we’ve grappled with since the 2008 election. Anyone who steps out of line on the issue of race, sexuality, or gender will be labeled a racist, homophobe, or sexist. Whether it’s Todd Akin talking about rape, Mitt Romney referring to binders full of women, or Mozilla’s Brendan Eich supporting traditional marriage, the right is characterized as a hate group.

I’m not going to judge Republican politicians who have condemned Bundy’s statements. I understand how the political game is played, and when you’re gearing up for midterms and a hotly contested 2016 presidential election, you need to shed any potential albatrosses as quickly as possible. 

But….for the rest of us, we need to make a stand.

Since 2008 and before, I’ve been watching the left pummel the right when it comes to issues of race, gender, and sexuality. Republicans have been characterized as hating blacks, wanting to keep women barefoot and pregnant in a 1950s kitchen, and denying gays equal rights under the law. I believe we lost the 2012 presidential election because of such demagoguery.

Time after time, the Democrats have attacked the GOP on contentious social issues. Debate over public policy and solutions to the growing debt, a struggling economy, and government inefficiency have fallen to the wayside as hot-button topics take center stage whenever a Republican or someone related to the GOP says something that’s either politically incorrect, unwise, or easily misconstrued.

Each time, the GOP scrambles like frightened rabbits. How can we fix this? What can we do to avoid these situations in the future? Who can we blame? How can we get people to see that we’re really not racists, homophobes, or sexists? I’ve even fallen for this as I’ve tried to figure out how to talk about women’s issues in the most non-offensive ways.

While it’s helpful to be wise, to consider strategy, and to think of ways to better communicate to groups who think we’re hostile to them, we have to be realistic about who is opposing us. No matter what we say, our words will be used against us, and when those words are particularly egregious and easily misunderstood, it’s even worse.

We have fallen into the trap of thinking that the left can be reasoned with, that if we just show them—and the rest of the country—that we’re really nice people who just care about liberty and want everyone to prosper, then they’ll stop categorizing us as racists and sexists. 

But that’s where we’re wrong. The left doesn’t want to reason with us. This isn’t a matter of misunderstanding. The left wants to dominate us. Control us. Defeat us. Abuse us. They aren’t interested in the truth. They aren’t interested in context or intentions. They are only interested in what benefits their quest for power—and we are giving them that power by agreeing with them, even in part. 

Instead of standing up for ourselves when accusations of racism or sexism are leveled at us because of something Bundy or Akin or Romney has said, we cower. We give ground. We give legitimacy to the accusation. As soon as we do that, we’ve lost. That’s because we’re not dealing with people who want to look reasonably at the issue. All they’re concerned about is finding something, anything, to make us feel guilty—to appear guilty—so they can defeat us.

When you’re dealing with someone who wants to abuse you, who wants to keep you in a cage, who wants to exercise power over you by defining who you are, you can’t give ground. As soon as you do, you’ve lost. You are weakened, and you have nothing to say in your defense. They’ve accused you of wrongdoing, and when you try to defend yourself or take back control, they silence you with your own admissions. You lose strength because you abdicate truth out of fear. You doubt yourself, and that doubt causes you to question everything you are. When you doubt—when you’re afraid—you can’t be bold.

The answer to those who falsely accuse is to remember who you are. Look the abuser in the eye and say, “I am not what you say I am.” You need to fight, even if that means a bloody nose or two. Republicans too easily forget who they are. They allow fear and doubt to seep in as accusations of racism and sexism, among other things, are leveled against them. They begin to believe what the opposition says, and they capitulate. When they do that, they’ve lost—and the ground will never be regained.

How do we respond when the left calls us all racists or worse? We come out fighting. Stand up for ourselves. Reject the accusation. Boldly assert what we actually do stand for. Show how those on other side are a bunch of hypocrites. Do not give ground! Tell them they’re the ones who are wrong.

There’s a place to say we disagree with those who have said something that can be mischaracterized. But when the accusations of evil—of hate, of racism or sexism—are transferred from the individual to all of us, we can’t forget who we are. We can’t allow ourselves to be defined by our enemies, by those who seek to defeat us and undermine our values.

We have to remember that we are the ones who love individuality and diversity, because we don’t think people should be controlled by a centralized power; that we are the ones who want to see individuals flourish as they compete to the best of their ability without government standing in their way; and that we are the ones who support liberty for all, no matter their skin color, their sexuality, or their gender.

We don’t lump people into groups to be manipulated. That’s the tactic of the left. We see people as individuals who want to pursue their dreams and who can do that best when a distant, oppressive bureaucracy isn’t creating laws that inhibit individual initiative in the name of “fairness” or “equality.”

If you want to be rightly understood, don’t let anyone else define you. Stand not only for what you believe but for who you are. Remember it. Even in the midst of fear, doubt, accusations, and threats, remember who you are. Don’t defend it; proclaim it. Don’t be defined by others—only then will you be free. Only then will you have the strength to fight. Only then will you overcome.

There are 44 comments.

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  1. Aaron Miller Member

    Exactly right. Most liberals can’t be negotiated with. They are bullies with no respect for us. Their more innocent followers can’t be freed of the lies until the liars are attacked and revealed as untrustworthy opportunists.

    But Republicans have had decades to figure out how to handle hostile media and disingenuous politicians. I’m not holding my breath.

    • #1
    • April 25, 2014, at 7:13 AM PDT
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  2. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    • #2
    • April 25, 2014, at 7:19 AM PDT
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  3. Jerry Carroll Inactive

    D.C. McAllister:

    “The left doesn’t want to reason with us. This isn’t a matter of misunderstanding. The left wants to dominate us. Control us. Defeat us. Abuse us. They aren’t interested in the truth. They aren’t interested in context or intentions. They are only interested in what benefits their quest for power—and we are giving them that power by agreeing with them, even in part.”

    This is a very clear understanding of the situation. The left is not satisfied with anything short of capitulation, and they see battlefronts everywhere. The niche culture of sci-fi and fantasy is just another example of where rigid conformity is imposed and dissenters cast out into the wilderness preferably losing their careers in the process:

    http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/04/24/an-explanation-about-the-hugo-awards-controversy/

    • #3
    • April 25, 2014, at 7:20 AM PDT
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  4. Profile Photo Member

    I judge the Right media and politicians, too. They are the ones who let this racist meme continue on all of this time. Their first reaction was fear (not only fear of the Left but fear of being associated with ‘Right wing crazies’- meaning us), and not a statement like, he only agrees with T. Sowell and W. Williams. 

    I was interested to see that much of the support I’ve read has come from the more establishment site articles (NRO, HE, etc.) and not so much from blogs (HotAir, LegalInsurrection, PJMedia etc.). The blogs really ‘want to be taken seriously’, I guess. 

    • #4
    • April 25, 2014, at 7:24 AM PDT
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  5. Dave Carter Contributor

    That, my friend, is as stirring an essay as I’ve ever read. Winston Churchill once observed that, “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all the others.” It’s a quality to which too many on our side pay homage every 4th of July, and then spend the rest of the year repudiating. Thank you for the timely reminder, and for your example. We are not born with rings through our noses, to be led about and commanded by others. May it ever be so.

    • #5
    • April 25, 2014, at 7:41 AM PDT
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  6. Aaron Miller Member

    Political correctness is a sickness which prevents clarity and honesty. Conservatives must break this culture that teaches people to latch onto fleeting errors in extemporaneous speech rather than to focus on the gist of what a person is saying. We need to restore generosity to conversation.

    • #6
    • April 25, 2014, at 7:41 AM PDT
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  7. Merina Smith Inactive

    Yup–drop the frightened rabbit demeanor, then take them on with calm arguments that display good sense and smart ideas. The rabbit thing looks guilty. We are not guilty and we should not act guilty. There is an emperor’s new clothes quality to what they say that can’t withstand courage and honesty. Display that courage. Do it now.

    • #7
    • April 25, 2014, at 7:50 AM PDT
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  8. Blondie Thatcher

    Well stated, D.C. Of course we all know the reason the Left comes out with the labels is because they can’t discuss facts. They either don’t know any or don’t have any. Calling someone a racist shuts down the conversation immediately and that is what they want, just as you stated. It is up to us to rise above the noise and shout our beliefs from the mountain tops even if we only change one person’s mind at a time. We can’t wait for the politicians to do it for us.

    • #8
    • April 25, 2014, at 7:58 AM PDT
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  9. Nick Stuart Inactive

    Just when did Bundy become a “hero” to [all] conservatives anyway? I don’t remember a plebiscite or anything.

    At least he managed to get CNN off flight 370 for a few minutes. 

    • #9
    • April 25, 2014, at 8:58 AM PDT
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  10. Basil Fawlty Member

    Tu quoque is often called a fallacy but, properly done, it can also be an effective response to a fallacious attack.

    • #10
    • April 25, 2014, at 9:27 AM PDT
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  11. Mike Rapkoch Member

    I suspected as much after I watched this video last night, but didn’t have time to research. The question now is how to get this into wide circulation.

    • #11
    • April 25, 2014, at 9:40 AM PDT
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  12. Douglas Inactive

    I really don’t give a rat’s *** what Bundy thinks about race, because it has nothing to do with the issue I care about. He could think Chinamen are aliens and it wouldn’t change the fact that he’s completely right about Federal abuses of power.

    • #12
    • April 25, 2014, at 9:48 AM PDT
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  13. Albert Arthur Coolidge

    Is it that he used the word “negro” or that he said liberal policies enslave blacks?

    • #13
    • April 25, 2014, at 9:57 AM PDT
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  14. Albert Arthur Coolidge

    From Jonah’s G-File today:

    Funny story: Recently, the Dalai Lama visited AEI (Big hitter, the Lama). I was out of town for it, but Ramesh Ponnuru attended his talk. At one point, His Holiness turned to Ramesh and said something like “You’re from India, you know what I mean” (not exact quote). Ramesh replied, “Actually, I’m from Kansas.” Then Arthur Brooks apparently quipped something like, “Don’t worry your holiness, everyone in Kansas looks like Ramesh.”

    Now, I think that’s all hilarious and utterly harmless. But apparently, what Ramesh should have done is stand up, point his bony finger of condemnation at the Dalai Lama, and scream in his best Cotton Mather voice “Microaggressor! Burn him!”

    • #14
    • April 25, 2014, at 10:05 AM PDT
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  15. Done Contributor

    If I’ve learned anything from liberals, it’s that denying you are a racist, proves you are one.

    • #15
    • April 25, 2014, at 10:16 AM PDT
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  16. Done Contributor

    Albert Arthur:

    Is it that he used the word “negro” or that he said liberal policies enslave blacks?

     The part where he said they were no better off then when they were slaves.

    • #16
    • April 25, 2014, at 10:18 AM PDT
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  17. Chainsaw Inactive

    Hello All; Happy Friday!
    Great blog; and hit the nail-on-the-head.
    The original fathers were NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT!
    They were the first to get in the fight!
    Chainsaw

    • #17
    • April 25, 2014, at 10:23 AM PDT
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  18. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Great article, Denise. Therein, you ask:

    Each time, the GOP scrambles like frightened rabbits. How can we fix this? What can we do to avoid these situations in the future?

    As I’ve often said, there is only one appropriate response to be given when a leftist calls a conservative a racist. It consists of two words, the second of which is “you” and the first of which I’ll leave to the reader’s imagination, as it would constitute a Code of Conduct violation.

    • #18
    • April 25, 2014, at 11:08 AM PDT
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  19. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Fred Reed proposes an alternative response: so what?

    • #19
    • April 25, 2014, at 11:12 AM PDT
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  20. Jim Lion Inactive

    Excellent article. The irony here is that Bundy sees himself as a kind of champion of black and Hispanic people.

    • #20
    • April 25, 2014, at 11:23 AM PDT
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  21. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    What amuses me most is being accused of being anti-Hispanic when I take a restrictionist position on immigration. That would certainly be a surprise to my Tejana mother.

    Then again, as standout sci-fi author Larry Correia (linked at comment #3 above) often notes, most of those leveling such scurrilous accusations are just white suburban liberals wracked with white guilt, trying to prove their politically correct bona fides.

    • #21
    • April 25, 2014, at 11:26 AM PDT
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  22. The Question Inactive

    Very good article.

    One of the things that make the racism/sexism/homophobia or whatever attack effective is that it can’t be disproven. Hypothetically, any of you could be a racist, and there’s really nothing any of you can do to prove otherwise. Saying you have friends of a different race doesn’t help, since they could just be a prop you use to keep people from thinking you are a racist. Despite history saying otherwise, Democrats have managed to establish that Republicans are the racist party, and it’s going to be a slow process reversing that.

    Like DC says, we need to not flinch when accused of racism. We need to advocate for policies that are good for the country as a whole, including people who aren’t likely to vote Republican any time soon. We’re going to have to be patient and unrelenting in advocating liberty and color-blindness.

    I used to think of the Republicans as the racist party, but I read enough and listened enough to realize this wasn’t correct. I’m sure there are others that can be converted, if we are patient.

    • #22
    • April 25, 2014, at 12:09 PM PDT
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  23. Hammer, The Member

    Misthiocracy:

     meh… I think he’s right. Perhaps he could state it more gracefully, but he’s certainly not speaking nonsense, or racism.

    Of course, I was one of those people who said about Akin, “ok, rather than skewer him, let’s be honest about what he was actually trying to say.” I have zero tolerance for the PC editing bull****.

    • #23
    • April 25, 2014, at 12:13 PM PDT
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  24. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Rush has been saying this forever. We need to change the narrative by declining to use their language. And we need to do what they do-appeal to emotions, not reason. Vote Republican-we want you to keep more of what you EARN.

    • #24
    • April 25, 2014, at 12:22 PM PDT
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  25. Petty Boozswha Member

    David Horowitz wrote about his Communist parents taking him to a Paul Robeson concert and explained how, whatever other doubts Communists might have been feeling during the early cold war, at least the issue of race helped them maintain their feeling of superiority. I think this is why we have such a focus on race and gender – what Ralph Nader calls “gonad politics” – from the left. They know all their other issues are intellectually bankrupt so they’ve retreated to what they think is their safest redoubt, and are constantly trying to find a Duke lacrosse team or Trayvon Martin to fit their paradigm .

    • #25
    • April 25, 2014, at 12:36 PM PDT
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  26. Profile Photo Member

    When John Paul II made his first visit to Poland as Pope, he took the 9 days (which, incidentally, is a novena) granted to him by the communists to remind his fellow countrymen to remember who they were. That they were not as their communists leaders told them they were. That with this collective memory in place, only then they would be able to defeat the communists and reclaim their country.

    We need to remember that we are a Christian nation and that we are not as the liberal, progressive democrats say we are. From here everything you write DC falls into place.

    For an excellent documentary of JPII’s trip to Poland watch this:

    Nine Days that Changed the World

    • #26
    • April 25, 2014, at 3:04 PM PDT
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  27. Joseph Eagar Member

    RushBabe49:

    Rush has been saying this forever. We need to change the narrative by declining to use their language. And we need to do what they do-appeal to emotions, not reason. Vote Republican-we want you to keep more of what you EARN.

     Well. The problem with that message is that we’ve already succeeded in cutting taxes. Middle and lower income people do not pay as much taxes as they once did.

    I’ve always been a fan of championing the victims of social exclusion. Liberals are much more tolerant of government policies that exclude large swaths of society than Republicans are (we aren’t the party that produced Lincoln for nothing).

    Republicans believe government programs, if they must exist, should help people get integrated into bourgeois society. Ours is a message of of social inclusion. Liberals, on the other hand, are much more comfortable with government programs that keep the poor out of sight and out of mind. 

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    • April 25, 2014, at 5:26 PM PDT
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  28. DocJay Inactive

    Kick ass!

    • #28
    • April 25, 2014, at 7:07 PM PDT
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  29. Josh Henry Inactive

    I say turn the tables on them. Say: Why are you so obsessed with race? Why do you do you always feel the need to define people by their race? How can we ever have a color blind society if all you see is race? Aren’t you the real racist here?

    • #29
    • April 25, 2014, at 7:16 PM PDT
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  30. Doug Watt Member

    I might not want to sit across the dinner table from Mr. Bundy but that is not the point. What took place with the killing of his cattle and the destruction of watering stations was not justice it was retribution. I can remember a discussion after dinner when someone tried to take a position that the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII was not that bad. My Mom was not going to let that slide by. When you sat at Mom’s table you had better bring your intellect to the table when the after dinner Scotch was poured and the discussions started. She asked what court were they convicted in of sedition. What about their farms, businesses, and homes that they lost. My Mom was the champion of the individual. Like my Mom it isn’t Mr. Bundy’s personality that matters. What matters is who does what at the point of the gun. The West is essentially a colony controlled by a small little city on the east coast. The Balkanization of America is due to class warfare conducted by the Progressive class that holds the non-Ivy League grad in contempt.

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    • April 25, 2014, at 7:28 PM PDT
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