R. S. McCain is out, even as we speak, covering the Washington, DC Tea Party, and we can be sure that he will return with a report of triumph, ecstatic or otherwise. At the same time, trolling ’round the blogosphere demonstrates that the process I described in my previous post has already begun.

One of the major tactics being used by the Leftoid faction is to note that the crowd appears to be melanin-deficient. This is, or has become, absolutely standard. Don’t see any black people, they snark. This is just prole white trash hatin’ them some blacks.

I’m going to agree that they have something approaching a point that can’t be concealed by a good hairdresser. The problem is, it doesn’t lead where they think it does, and where it does lead is very dangerous… for them, and for a lot of causes that they claim to hold dear without any real evidence that they are prepared to support them with anything but snark.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: half a century or so ago, their predecessors came to me and mine and complained that we were perpetuating injustice. The arguments were sufficiently persuasive that we agreed — or, at least, enough of us did — to go along with attempts to correct that longstanding condition.

Very important: What we agreed to was equal protection under the law; it was not “our turn in the barrel”. If you gave an accurate precis of the current situation via time machine to the people back then, including many of the advocates of civil rights, the whole matter would have been dismissed.

What the Leftoids intend to do with the charges of “racist” is to embarrass people into shutting up and going along with them. Unfortunately — and I do not claim to be the first person who’s noticed this — “racist” has become a knee-jerk response, meaning neither less nor more than “disagrees with some aspect of the Leftoid program”. And if that’s the case, if it is equally “racist” to use the n-word and to suggest that, e.g., the GM bailout may not have been the best possible action at the time, or (worse) to assert that certain people are “racist” without reference to their actual views on, well, race, then what has been created is a situation where there is no additional penalty for genuine racism over and above what is meted out for policy disagreements that have little or no connection with “race”.

It is to my mind unquestionable that black people have, in the history of this country, suffered oppression, unfair discrimination (note the adjective), and severe suppression of their rights under the Law and the principles of this country — but if the only possible redress of that undoubted wrong is to place black people in a position where they can do that to non-blacks, or if it’s merely that black people can have anything they want without regard to the cost (whatever currency that cost is denominated in), that’s not equal protection under the Law, and it’s going to be opposed.

There’s no doubt in my mind that there is an undercurrent of that in the TEA Parties, and thus that the charges of “racist!” have some tenuous grounding in fact. There is also no doubt whatever in my mind that opportunists are using that as an excuse for further depredations against civil liberties and for their own personal profit, in cash money sometimes, but more often in the attainment of power positions that will enable them to aggrandize themselves at everyone else’s expense — including black people in the “everyone else”.

It is entirely possible that that situation could end up in a tendency to backtrack on the real gains of the Civil Rights Movement, and I’m starting to pick up on the first whiffs of it among the people I talk to day to day. Leftoids will dismiss that as an aberration — I’m a broken-toothed redneck living in redneck country, and by their lights the motivations of the people around me are either of no account or should be actively suppressed — but the ominous thing is that they would be right in a way that bodes ill for the future. The people I’m hearing that from are not the no-class stereotypes they’re thinking of; they’re the people (or their descendants) who were convinced by the liberals of an earlier day to go along with the change in the program.

If it becomes clear to the majority of people that the current set of soi-disant “liberals” are not bargaining in good faith, the people who have been convinced to support civil rights against their own profit and advantage begin to have second thoughts about that. Do I think that would be a good thing? No, I most emphatically do not. Do I think it possible? Damn straight!