It’s time for conservatives to get real.
The fight against anti-white racism enters the political mainstream, and it’s not going away.
While it did not by itself start a “national conversation” amidst the flurry of last-minute electioneering, a series of political advertisements appeared in late October that may be the most consequential ads of the 2022 election cycle.
The most prominent ad, playing on some Georgia radio and TV stations during a hotly contested Senate race, puts forth a simple question:
“When did racism against white people become OK?”
It then details the various ways in which elected Democrats, from Joe Biden on down, have supported racist anti-white policies on issues from healthcare to employment.
The phrases “Stop left-wing racism” and “End Anti-white bigotry” appear in the commercial as a series of white people, their faces expressing concern and frustration, flash one-by-one on the screen.
The ad ends with the phrase that “We are all entitled to equal treatment under the law.”
It is remarkable that a commercial explicitly advocating equal treatment under the law would somehow be seen as racial provocation, but welcome to 2022.
The underlying claims made in the commercial are true. Biden did develop a program during COVID to help restaurants that excluded all white male restaurant owners. White people really were de-prioritized for lifesaving COVID vaccines and treatments in a way that could not be justified by racial/ethnic biological susceptibility. The administration did extend $5 billion in aid to nonwhite farmers, which was blocked by a federal judge as an unconstitutional violation of equal protection under law.
The Democrats are, in countless ways, developing policies that actively discriminate against white Americans.
To be fully accurate, the ad would need thirty minutes, rather than thirty seconds, to catalogue the range of anti-white policies of the Biden administration, which build on decades of such policies now being enacted by the Democrats at an accelerating pace.
Within days of its release, the ad had gone viral, being viewed millions of times on YouTube.
The ads are being run by America First Legal, the brainchild of former senior Trump aide Stephen Miller, which has arguably become the most effective right-wing policy and legal organization to emerge from the MAGA movement.
According to the left-wing oligarchy that is rapidly losing control over the national discourse, the America First Legal ads are an outrage. Over the years, this oligarchy has been so effective at policing the boundaries of politically acceptable speech that the average American, particularly the average white American, has almost unquestioningly fallen into line. The limits on our speech have transformed into limits on our perception: we no more notice most anti-white racism than a fish notices the ocean.
These speech commissars were outraged by the portrayal of white Americans as a legitimate interest group with equal rights and actual grievances, rather than simply an avatar of “privilege,” or a convenient rhetorical punching bag for the Left.
An MSNBC (natch) anchor hyperventilated, “That is a real ad on the airwaves right now in Georgia. It’s not @stephenm’s first racist ad or his only one.”
Vanity Fair was outraged that “Stephen Miller’s Group is Running a White Grievance Ad Campaign in Georgia Ahead of the Midterms.” The grievances of white Americans, are, of course, inherently illegitimate.
Politico called the ad “one of the most openly race-based spots of the cycle, amplifying tropes that have historically been used to generate backlash to minority groups.” No word, of course, on whether the claims were accurate, or why telling voters the truth should provoke a “backlash.”
New York Times political reporter Michael Bender tweeted that “Stephen Miller’s America First Legal group has turned its ‘white racism’ messaging into TV ads. An eagle-eyed viewer in Georgia spotted the commercial which closes with an image of a blue-eyed, blonde-haired white female and a plea to ‘end anti-white bigotry.’”
Blue eyes AND blonde hair. The horror!
Again, there is no critique of the substance of the claims of the ad, and the scare quote around “white racism” implies the claim is somehow improper or should not be aired at all.
The NAACP went even further than the Twitter and media drama queens, sending a letter to the stations in question demanding they take down the ads.
“The race-baiting advertisements are obviously false. Misrepresentations that form the bulk of the advertisement already have been publicly debunked.” But who “debunked” the ad, besides the same leftist “fact checkers” who regularly declare obviously true conservative claims false and obviously false leftist claims true?
“No ‘spin’ can be put on the statements contained in America First Legal’s advertisements that would make them true. Accordingly, such advertisements are an impediment to the democratic process,” the NAACP claimed. The assumption that contrary political statements or opinions are “impediments” to the functioning of democracy is widespread on the American Left, which has embraced a startlingly intolerant approach to the First Amendment recently.
While it drew less attention. America First Legal had several other ads this cycle that focused on non-white constituencies being discriminated against by the Democrat establishment.
One such ad, targeted to Asian-Americans in California, reminded Asian-American households that “Joe Biden and Left-Wing officials are engaged in widespread racial discrimination against White and Asian Americans.” It pointed out, correctly, that Biden issued an executive order on racial “equity” as a central U.S. government policy, and that such “equity” policies inevitably discriminate against whites and Asian-Americans. This is a particularly sensitive subject for many Asian-Americans, as the Supreme Court currently is hearing a case about anti-Asian discrimination at Harvard.
Closer to home for California’s Asian-Americans, a merit-based admissions system for San Francisco’s elite Lowell Public High School was eliminated in 2020 in favor of a lottery system that discriminated against qualified Asian-American students. Parents, outraged by this measure, as well as the district’s pandemic policies and woke attempts to rename schools named for George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, recalled the school board members with 72 percent of the vote, with both white and Asian-American parents voting overwhelmingly for the recall. It is this sort of ballot box power of groups currently being victimized by the existing regime that sends the media into a frenzy.
America First Legal Ads are a gut-check for the right. You can bet that the GOP’s surrender caucus will be quick to “disavow” them if pressed on it.
Which is why it is critically important that the right embrace the message and make it clear that the eternal losers of the GOP establishment don’t speak for them. All-too-many Republicans, when the issue of civil rights comes up, run for the hills, and refuse to defend the legitimate rights of their voters. We either believe in legal equality in this country regardless of race, or we believe in racial discrimination. There is no middle ground.
If the GOP wants the colorblind America that it claims to cherish, the only way to do this is to actively confront those people pushing racist policies against our voters and making it clear there will be a severe political price to doing so.
The GOP cannot surrender its way into achieving equal rights for its constituents.
The America First Legal ads are an opening salvo in a war over who defines racial discrimination in this country. Will conservatives continue to accept the Left’s Orwellian definition in which state-sponsored racism is “anti-racism” and “equity,” or will they, like America First Legal, demand equal treatment under the law?
More than any individual race on the ballot Tuesday, how we answer this question will determine whether the GOP can effectively lead an increasingly diverse America in the future.
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.