From an immigration law in Arizona to a planned mosque near Ground Zero to Glenn Beck emoting at the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the controversies roiling American politics in recent weeks and months have featured an ugly undertone, suggesting meanness, prejudice and, in the eyes of some, outright racism. And it is conservatives — whether Republican politicians, Fox News commentators or members of the “tea party” movement — who are invariably painted with that brush.
There is power in the accusation of racism against conservatives, one that liberals understand well. In an April 2008 post on Journolist, a private online community for liberal journalists, academics and activists, one writer proposed a way to distract conservatives from the campaign controversy surrounding the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s pastor. “If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us,” Spencer Ackerman wrote. “Instead, take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”
Read the full story at Conservatism does not equal racism. So why do many liberals assume it does?.