Beliefnet
At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

Sarah Palin is under fire.

Early Wednesday morning, in reference to the murderous September 11th attacks on an American embassy in Libya, Palin remarked that “President Obama’s shuck and jive shtick with these Benghazi lies must end.”

All too predictably, the usual suspects have accused the 2008 vice presidential candidate and former Alaskan governor of racial insensitivity. 

Never mind that Palin quickly responded that “I would have used the exact same expression if I had been writing about President Carter, whose foreign policy rivaled Obama’s in its ineptitude, or about the Nixon administration, which was also famously rocked by a cover-up.” 

And never mind that she noted that “I’ve been known to use the phrase most often when chastising my daughter Piper to stop procrastinating and do her homework.”

Because the expression “shuck and jive” has historically been associated with the attempt of blacks to “deceive racist Euro-Americans in power,” according to Urban Dictionary, Palin is not so subtly being charged by her opponents with peddling racism.

None of this should come as a surprise to anyone.  Palin is not the first person who Barack Obama and his surrogates have branded with “the R word,” and she most certainly will not be the last.  As long as there remain whites who regard the label with all of the dread with which a vampire views a cross, there will always be those who will hang it over their heads like an axe. 

But there is more to it than this.

Of all of the industries to which our country has been home over the last 50 to 60 years, there is one that has flourished to at least as great an extent as any other.  This is what we may call the Racism-Industrial-Complex (RIC).  The influence of the RIC is felt in virtually every precipice of American life, for RIC agents have been busy at work to insure a couple of things. 

First, they are preoccupied—obsessed, really—with making sure that white racism—and it is always white racism—is treated by all Americans as the single greatest threat to world peace. 

Second, RIC agents are equally consumed with making sure that Americans believe, or at least act as if they believe, that white racism poses as potent a threat today as it ever did in the past.  

The benefits to be reaped by promulgating these ideas can’t be overestimated. 

Those who comply with RIC diminish their odds of being branded with the allegation of racism.  In a day and age when, thanks precisely to the labors of RIC agents, just the suggestion that one is a racist can effortlessly destroy livelihoods and reputations, this is no slight reward.  Monetarily, professionally, and even psychically, RIC agents, on the other hand, achieve far more.

That the sky’s the limit for a RIC agent was witnessed by the entire planet on the evening that Barack Hussein Obama was elected as America’s 44th president. 

The Racism-Industrial-Complex has almost single-handedly created the world that we inhabit, a world in which whites’ dread of being charged with racism coexists with their genuine hope that interracial conflict will soon go the way of the dinosaur.  RIC agents generally—and Obama particularly—know this.  And four years ago, they exploited it by convincing whites that if only they would elect the country’s first black president, their fears would be vanquished and their hopes fulfilled.

Obama would redeem America of her blemished past and a new, post-racial era would be inaugurated.

Of course, this was a lie, but it was one that many whites wanted desperately to believe.

RIC agents crave power, but, in this case, their quest may have come at too great of a cost.  Being that he is one of their own, they wanted to see Obama elected so that he could advance their agenda more aggressively and robustly than it had ever been advanced before.  However, that he is now the first black president means that a great deal of their industry’s lifeblood—the notion that America remains a bastion of white racism—has been sucked out of it.

But RIC will not die without a fight.  This explains why its agents will continue to find white racism under every nook and cranny.  It explains why they are now jumping all over Sarah Palin.

And it explains why, if Obama loses his bid for reelection, we will be hearing nothing but cries of racism ad infinitum.

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