Well, we once again have one of those instances where we had to do a double take and make sure we hadn’t accidentally clicked on “The Onion” or the “Babylon Bee.” Because when we read NBC’s Noah Berlatsky had penned an article pontificating on the possibility that “Trump voters motivated by racism may be violating the Constitution,” we thought surely it had to be satire. We don’t necessarily doubt that there are idiots out there capable of believing this nonsense; we just didn’t realize we were at the point where they could be published by a major network’s online website. We stand corrected.
From the garbage heap:
Trump made it clear in his campaign that “Make America Great Again” meant that America was greater when white people’s power was more sweeping and more secure.
Some politicians deny the evidence, no doubt because they don’t want to alienate white voters, including prejudiced ones. Other commentators try to parse whether Trump’s racism will be a winning strategy in 2020. Terry Smith, a visiting professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, offers a different response in his new book, “Whitelash: Unmasking White Grievance at the Ballot Box.” Rather than excuse racist voters or try to figure out how to live with their choices, he argues that racist voting is not just immoral, but illegal. The government, Smith says, has the ability, and the responsibility, to address it.
This sounds radical. But Smith argues that it’s in line with the Constitution and with years of court rulings. For example, Smith points out that racist appeals in union elections are illegal and that an election in which one side uses racist appeals can be invalidated by the National Labor Relations Board. Similarly, in the 2016 case Peña v. Rodriguez, the Supreme Court ruled that when a juror expresses overt bigotry, the jury’s verdict should be invalidated.
We tried to quote a representative portion of the article to show how virulently insane it is, but you really can’t understand until you read the whole piece. We would expect to see this idiocy come out of Linda Sarsour’s mouth or see it published on the official Black Lives Matter website, but we still can’t quite wrap our heads around seeing it on the official NBC News website. Are there any editorial controls at all in place over there? Can literally anything be published as long as it is sufficiently anti-Trump?
The idea that we would unravel our entire election system so that “racist voting” can no longer be a thing is absurd to the point of offensiveness. We have to wonder where Noah Berlatsky and Terry Smith were when 98% of black voters surged to pull the lever for Barack Obama. Are some forms of racial voting more acceptable than others? Why, of course they are, how could we even ask the question?
Never mind that neither Berlatsky nor Smith can prove that even a single Trump voter was animated by racism. It wouldn’t matter even if they could. What matters is that this is the canary in the coal mine: Overturning elections to address racial grievances is now an idea being floated in the mainstream.
If there is a Rubicon, we’ve passed it. Ugly waters lie ahead.