A couple of weeks ago I wrote this piece after the announcement of Carly Fiorina and Dr. Ben Carson to run for president. One of the points I brought out was that we would soon see how racist, sexist, and intolerant the liberal left progressive media will be towards Fiorina and Carson, as well as Senators Rubio and Cruz. And boy howdy, was I not disappointed, almost as if on cue.
As reported by the Washington Post, “In an April 30 interview with presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Bloomberg Politics’ Mark Halperin requested that the senator do his “very good and very respectful imitation” of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), another presidential candidate. Cruz declined. He also declined to welcome Sanders to the race “en Español.” “I’m going to stick to English, but I appreciate the invitation, señor,” responded Cruz. In between, Halperin held what can only be called a prove-your-ethnicity contest. He asked Cruz whether he’d listed himself as Hispanic in his applications to Princeton and Harvard Law School. He asked him whether he had a “favorite Cuban food.” “Do you have a favorite Cuban singer?” asked Halperin, who co-hosts the program “With All Due Respect.” Cruz did his part as a presidential candidate, showing no frustration with Halperin’s litmus testing. Ruben Navarrette wasn’t so generous. In a San Jose Mercury News column on the interview, Navarrette wrote, “I kept waiting for Halperin to ask Cruz to play the conga drums like Desi Arnaz while dancing salsa and sipping cafe con leche — all to prove the Republican is really Cuban.”
Now, can y’all just imagine if this were to have happened to a black liberal candidate for anything? The real question that must be asked is what possessed Mr. Halperin to believe he was warranted in pursuing this embarrassing line of questioning? There can be no doubt this was a conscious endeavor to delegitimize and discredit Senator Cruz’s ethnicity — after all, being a Conservative Republican, he can’t really be Hispanic.
And this is what happens to many black conservatives who are castigated as “not being really black” or not having experienced being black. I find it offensive and denigrating that there has to be some litmus test on skin color.
And trust me, what Halperin did was going to eventually happen anyway – that’s just how disgusting politics has become. It’s not about the debate of ideas, policies, and issues – it’s about personal character destruction.
Even a new book by Fox News contributor and USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers, “The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech,” came out yesterday with a general good reception. But Powers says she was surprised by the reaction her book, particularly an excerpt regarding Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich and his $1,000 donation to California’s “Yes on 8” campaign, has elicited among the “gay left.”
As Richard Grennel writes in a Fox News opinion piece, “Oliver Willis, a research fellow at Media Matters, went after Powers’ credibility within a few hours of the book’s release. He and his employer know that if they can push Powers out of the real Democratic Party, then she isn’t the credible insider she says she is. In order to take away her credibility as someone critiquing the party from the inside, they need to define her as someone on the outside. If Media Matters can successfully turn Powers into something other than a card-carrying Democrat, then her strong condemnation of the Left’s new tactics will fall flat. It’s the classic campaign strategy to “attack the messenger” while not engaging on the damaging message.”
There is a dedicated Saul Alinsky-type assault on anyone who swims against the dictated cultural current. The assault is relentless, but must be defeated.
Mark Halperin did apologize, but I tend to believe that’s only because he got caught and wasn’t championed as he may have thought. He was well aware that he planned to take this line of questioning, and it had nothing to do with understanding Senator Cruz’s “outreach” to the Latino community. It would be no different if I were asked if I preferred Popeye’s or KFC — those who know me are well aware of my affection for Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A. Or maybe Halperin would have asked me to sing my favorite Parliament Funkadelic song — if you must know, it’s “Flashlight.”
This is just another example of the politics of identity where you have to prove — especially a minority conservative — your authenticity, as if my skin color was sprayed on. Then again, just wait until Carly Fiorina will have to validate being a woman, because women aren’t supposed to be conservative. Why does this happen? Because the electorate has allowed it, and actually quietly embraces it. If Mark Halperin were on Fox News and the subject was a minority Democrat, there would be demands for his firing. But what do you hear now? Crickets.
And so the hypocrisy continues.