the post-racial world

Washington Post Columnist Richard Cohen Sets High Bar for What Qualifies As Racist [Updated]

Richard Cohen==2013 High Line Spring Benefit==Hudson River Park's Pier 57, NYC==May 14, 2013.
Cohen. Photo: Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen is at it again — it being racism and/or tolerance for racism: 


Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all.

It’s not “racist” to gag at the sight of an interracial family. It’s just … a sign of being troubled … by … the mixing of races.

Update, 5:00 p.m.: “The word racist is truly hurtful,” Cohen told the Huffington Post today. “It’s not who I am. It’s not who I ever was. It’s just not fair. It’s just not right.” Cohen added, “The column is about Tea Party extremism and I was not expressing my views, I was expressing the views of what I think some people in the Tea Party held.” That part never seemed unclear, to us at least. But the paragraph still appears to imply that gagging at interracial marriage is merely an expression of being “troubled” by a formerly “avant-garde” behavior, as opposed to racism. 

Richard Cohen Sets High Bar for Racism