It didn’t take long for liberals in the blogosphere to make backhanded and blatantly false accusations of racism against Congressman Paul Ryan, and you’re not going to believe the rationale used for leveling the accusation. Apparently, Paul Ryan is a racist because…
Here’s the scoop. Kelli Goff, the political writer for “The Root”, informs us that Ryan not only has a “black sister-in-law,” but that “his ‘college sweetheart’ was African-American” as well.
And how, in heaven’s name, do those facts make Ryan a racist? They don’t, but that didn’t stop Goff from using convoluted and almost comical ‘reasoning’ to make the clear and libelous implication.
As Goff explains it: “When someone finds himself on the ropes facing an allegation of racism, the go-to reflex defense is usually something along the lines of ‘But some of my best friends are black!’ Translation: ‘I can’t possibly be racist or racially insensitive because there are black people I like and they like me.'”
Did you catch the implication, and how Goff has now lowered the bar on accusations of racism to previously unheard of depths? If someone is actually capable of offering a legitimate behavior-based defense to false and baseless accusations of racism, then that person must be a racist.
While the accusation is only implied, my mother, when she was alive, would have called it a “backhanded accusation.” Goff is clearly leading the reader to believe that Ryan must be a racist because, assuming someone actually came right out and made an explicit accusation of racism against Ryan, he would then be inclined to say: ‘I have a Black sister-in-law and I dated an African-American girl in college’ and, as everyone knows, the fact that Ryan would be inclined to plea the “but-some-of-my-best-friends-are” defense constitutes undeniable proof of his racism prior to the fact.
If you still didn’t catch Goff’s implication, don’t waste your time thinking too hard. While her thesis is clearly ridiculous, judging by many of the comments from the Amen-Chorus on the article, it’s more than clear that Goff’s liberal readers not only clearly understood the implication but also fell for it hook, line, and sinker.
And if you’re looking for any other evidence that Goff might be relying upon, say some quirk in Ryan’s behavior or an incident in his past, to make the accusatory implication, don’t bother. You won’t find it, as the bulk of the remainder of Goff’s article is devoted to what initially appears to be a dysfunctional and tangential hashing-up of old stories about the late Senator Strom Thurmond, television commentator Lou Dobbs, and Trayvon Martin’s shooter George Zimmerman.
Later in the article, it appears that Goff only went off on the tangent as a means of working up to a broader point, as she put it, that “it is possible to have a black friend, Asian friend, Hispanic friend, or Muslim friend or wife and still exhibit prejudice toward that group.”
However, while it would be impossible to know Goff’s intentions, it is interesting that she devoted so much type to Thurmond, Dobbs, and Zimmerman. Guilt by association is a powerful weapon, and her tangential ramblings did supply the perfect ruse for her to interject an association between Ryan and Thurmond, Dobbs, and Zimmerman, people that Goff obviously assumes her liberal readers view as villains, even though no association actually exists between these men.
And so, in The ‘World According To Goff’, one should not dismiss any claims of racism against Ryan that may surface in the future because it is entirely possible that a white person can have cordial and intimate relationships with minorities and still be a racist. And should accusations be made at some future time, and Ryan refers to his personal relationships as a defense, then the statement would not only be a clear admission of guilt, but would also place him in the esteemed company of Thurmond, Dobbs, and Zimmerman.
While Goff’s implications are clear (and clumsy), they may also be telegraphing what is yet to come as the presidential campaign unfolds. At least the rather mendacious odor of a set-up is in the air.
Will false, and more emphatically stated, accusations of racism against Ryan come at a later date? And if so, will some other journalist actually reference Goff’s ‘innocent observation’ to bolster the false accusation after Ryan issues the logical response?
You can almost envision some liberal writing, at a future date ‘of course, this isn’t the first accusation of racism against Ryan….’ Would it be paranoid to suspect that there a set-up in the works?
Crystal Wright penned an excellent retort of Goff’s backhanded hit-piece for Town Hall (a highly recommended read, by the way) in which she observes: “Referencing no examples of behavior by Ryan that could be viewed racist, Goff only suggests that one day Ryan may be faced with racist allegations and use the fact that he dated a black woman in college as his defense.”
Wright isn’t necessarily implying that there’s more to come (then again, maybe she is, but let’s not put words in her mouth), but her statement does provide some reassure that suspicions, at least in this particular case, wouldn’t necessarily qualify a person for membership in the tin-foil-hat club.
At the very least, Goff’s accusation is deplorable, and her incredulous cry of innocence toward the end of the article that she’s “not calling Ryan a racist” rings hollow. Goff’s implication was clear. One only need ask: if Goff didn’t intend to throw out a false and baseless accusation that Ryan is a racist, then why did she write the article in the first place?
The answer, of course, is that Goff intended to place the question into the political dialogue. As to her purpose and whether more is to come, only time will tell.