The last time I saw racism in action, it was breathtaking.

It took place a few years ago when I was running a craft booth at a Portland, Oregon, event that draws in tens of thousands of visitors over five days. As anyone who has ever run a craft booth knows, a vendor must be polite, friendly and professional. My husband and I have run craft booths for decades. I am well-experienced in treating customers professionally.

To assist me at the event, I hired a temporary worker. I’ll call her Jane. She was a typical progressive who had moved to Portland from another state. But Jane, who is white, complained the city was a little too “white bread” for her, and she longed for a place with more racial diversity.

Needless to say, the crowds attending this event were ethnically diverse. But as the days went by, I noticed something interesting. Whenever any African-Americans entered the booth to look at my products, I treated them like any other visitors (polite, friendly, professional). But Jane would go overboard. She fawned over them. She was flattering and even groveling. She smiled so broadly, her molars showed. One time, two men purchased a very tiny item, and she insisted on taking a photo of them holding the item so she could post it on her Instagram page to show her appreciation for, um, racial diversity or something. Frankly, it got embarrassing.

The moment black customers would leave the booth, Jane’s behavior reverted to normal. She didn’t behave this way with Asians, Hispanics or any other ethnic group. She was entirely unaware of the change in her attitude – it was completely unconscious. These were nice, ordinary people – like hundreds of other nice, ordinary people who came into my booth – but just because their skin had a higher melanin content, she couldn’t treat them the same as everyone else. And to me, it underscored the progressive attitude toward minorities: condescension. It set my teeth on edge because it was pure, blatant racism.

The left is focused, even obsessed, by race. Deep down, many progressives think “brown people” are inferior and are too weak and mentally deficient to attain things on their own. So, like children, they must be provided for. “Condescension is behind much of what passes for multiculturalism today,” notes columnist Laura Hollis.

To get an idea of the pat-them-on-the-head attitude I mean, watch this video:

Let’s face it: The most powerful weapon of liberals is racism. They wield it like a club. They smash down all opposition with its accusation. They use it to enslave blacks on the ol’ government plantation, and woe betide anyone who opts off the welfare farm through education and hard work. (It’s beyond me how anyone can condemn Ben Carson for his lifestyle choices – Rush Limbaugh once called him the closest thing to a saint this nation has – but have you noticed all the criticism about him comes from the left?)

Columnist Jessie Lee Peterson (who is black, by the way) noted, “Not all … but most Democrats today do not respect black people, or anyone else. Rather, they use blacks to push their own agenda.”

According to liberals, all conservatives are (inbred, knuckle-dragging, Bible-thumping) racists. This conclusion is based on, well, nothing. But such a powerful accusation is effectually undeniable, along the lines of, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet, yes or no?” After all, how does anyone “prove” he isn’t a racist? It’s a classic Saul Alinsky tactic: If you’re busy defending yourself, you can’t go after the other side.

In covering the history of black civil rights, historian and columnist Bill Federer noted: “An effort began to redefined ‘racism’ to mean anyone opposing big government dependency welfare programs. … Increasingly, media, music and entertainment began to be employed to stir prejudices and passions for political purposes. … Political organizers used race-baiting tactics to incite racial tensions for political purposes.”

And it was no less a visionary than Booker T. Washington who stated, “There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who do not want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.”

Of course, accusations of racism have always been popular among social-justice warriors, but there’s no question it has ramped up in scope and volume in the past few years. As David Limbaugh put it, we’ve moved from colorblind to color-obsessed. In fact, it’s becoming downright dangerous for Caucasians to enter college these days since “many universities continue to teach students – especially white students – that white privilege is a real and pressing problem that must be addressed to end racism.”

Progressives, while mouthing saintly platitudes about fairness and equality, undercut the very people they claim they want to help. Their policies create an eternal and growing class of professional victims who are so entrenched in their supposed victimhood, they tragically never learn to stand on their own two feet. And when someone does make it on their own – the thousands who, like Ben Carson, cut the invisible ropes that bound them and achieve the American dream – they verbally tear them down.

Progressives don’t want to get rid of racism. It pays too well. It’s far too profitable. Getting rid of racism would be like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. If racism can’t be found all by itself, they’ll invent it out of thin air. No proof needed.

So who’s the racist? The lib who thinks blacks are too dumb to rise above, or the conservative who wants blacks to stand on their own two feet?

It’s an old and effective tactic to accuse the opposite side of offenses of which you are guilty. But here’s the thing: It’s not working anymore. The vast majority of American people aren’t racist, but they are getting sick and tired of being called such. Like any overused epithet, liberals are applying the sledgehammer of “racism” across so many absurd situations and examples that everyone is shrugging their shoulders and saying, “Sure, whatever.” And more and more “oppressed” blacks are saying, “Quit patting us on the head.”

Martin Luther King Jr. longed for a day when “content of character” was more important than skin color. That day isn’t here yet – not because of anyone’s skin color is holding them back, but because progressives’ content of character is still steeped with racism.

How sad.

Media wishing to interview Patrice Lewis, please contact [email protected].

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