It’s no surprise, in today’s race obsessed political environment, to find yet another instance in which race is being used to deflect from troubling behavior or bad news. This time, the entire idea of ethics is being challenged as racist. You see, there are just too many black members of Congress being investigated for corruption.
Politico reports complaining, and cries of racism, coming from the Congressional Black Caucus regarding the number of their members currently in the spotlight for ethics violations.
The politically charged decisions by veteran Democratic Reps. Charles Rangel of New York and Maxine Waters of California to force public trials by the House ethics committee are raising questions about race and whether black lawmakers face more scrutiny over allegations of ethical or criminal wrongdoing than their white colleagues
…The question of whether black lawmakers are now being singled out for scrutiny has been simmering throughout the 111th Congress, with the Office of Congressional Ethics a focal point of the concerns. At one point earlier this year, all eight lawmakers under formal investigation by the House ethics committee, including Rangel and Waters, were black Democrats. All those investigations originated with the OCE, which can make recommendations — but take no final actions — on such cases.
There’s a “dual standard, one for most members and one for African-Americans,” said one member of the Congressional Black Caucus, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The article continues on without the authors ever once considering the most obvious explanation. Maybe CBC members are being “disproportionally” investigated because they are disproportionally unethical.
This explanation is not to say that blacks are more likely to be unethical than whites. Rather, I think there are other forces at work.
Politicians, as a general rule, are scum. It doesn’t matter what race they belong to. They would almost all commit the worst of crimes if they thought they could get away with them (and many do think this quite often, usually to be proven right). The question is, in so far as they do hold back from unethical behavior, what is the cause and why might it impact some politicians more than others?
The answer to the first question is easy. Politicians are interested in getting elected. If they think something will harm their electoral chances, they will usually refrain.
The next question, then, is whether there is any reason to believe that black politicians are less likely to be punished by their voters for ethical violations than white politicians.
Black politicians tend to be elected in overwhelmingly black districts, often gerrymandered for the purpose of ensuring “minority” representation. Their voters, having been inundated with destructive identity politics propaganda for generations, have come to believe that they can only be fairly represented by someone who looks like them. Race becomes the dominant qualifying criteria in these districts, much more so than other electorates. White politicians are hardly ever voted for simply for being white (it wouldn’t make sense to do so even if some voters were so inclined, as they are usually running against white opponents). The same is not true of black politicians. A corrupt black politician is still preferable to a white representative under this racial representation paradigm.
Black politicians are thus taught by their electorates that they are entitled to their positions. Nothing they do can justify removing them from office, for the simple reason that they can never lose their color, the defining characteristic in the world of identity politics.
While career politicians who routinely commit ethics violations are ultimately to blame for their actions, the voters who avert their eyes from such behavior have to take their share of the responsibility for creating politicians, like Charlie Rangel, who think that they are above the law. If the Congressional Black Caucus really wants to know why so many of their members are running afoul of what little ethics enforcement politicians can muster to bring upon themselves, maybe they should start by asking their voters to care more about the character of their representatives, instead of their color.
Cross-posted at Conservative Compendium.