What If We Fail "The Test"?

Roger Kimball comments on Professor Barry’s career at the University of Chicago Law School:

There is probably a lot one could say about the piece The New York Times ran yesterday about Barack Obama’s 12-year tenure teaching law at the University of Chicago. That Obama “never completed a single work of legal scholarship” may seem surprising given that he was teaching at a major research university where, as the Times notes, “most colleagues published by the pound.” Unsurprising is that, even back then, Obama exuded an aura of “self-absorption” and was surrounded by “groupies.” Also unsurprising is that fact that much of his teaching concerned issues of race and that, as the Times puts it, he “was especially eager for his charges to understand the horrors of the past, students say.”…

Then Kimball looks at the implications of the possibility that Barry might actually lose:

… In course of [the Times’] story, the reporter confronts the reader with “what may be the ultimate test of racial equality–whether Americans will elect a black president.”

I stopped short reading that because I think it gets the issue 100% wrong. The implication is that if Obama is not elected, then Americans fail the test. But that, I submit, is a racist idea. How many liberals do you know who plan to vote for Barack Obama because he is black, that is to say, for a racist reason? Sure, they also like the fact that he plans to institute a European-style confiscatory tax plan. They approve of his socialistic plans to increase the size and intrusiveness of the government. They share his skepticism about our presence in Iraq and contemplate his call for “civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the United States military with equanimity, even pleasure. Really, though, all that is icing on the cake. They have closed ranks around Obama on account of the very thing that Obama pretends he wishes to transcend: the color of his skin.

And I wonder about the always present, but never publicly mentioned, implicit threat in framing the election as a “test” of America’s racial salvation. Are we to expect the customary “unrest” that usually follows an event that angers black people? If a majority of the voters turn out to be unbelievers and reject “The One We’ve Been Waiting For,” can we expect the believers to take to the streets in violent protest? Is there any doubt that law enforcement agencies at all levels are not thinking about and preparing for a possible Obama defeat?

And Jennifer Rubin of Commentary cites David Ignatius’s fine column on McCain in commenting on McCain’s humility versus Barry’s megalomania.

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