Broad Stripes

It’s been a largely-unspoken fact that many groups that claim to champion certain minority segments tend to reserve their advocacy for liberal members of their chosen faction, and either ignore or heap scorn on minorities who lean more conservative. Every now and then, though, it gets amazingly blatant — usually when said conservative minority achieves some level of success or prominence. The first major example I can recall living through was when Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court.

There’s a special hatred reserved on the left for minority conservatives. Their rejection of liberalism is taken as an intensely personal affront; how dare they be so ungrateful for all the left has done for their people? How dare they wander off the liberal plantation, who bought and paid for them and their rights and freedoms? How dare they actually exercise those freedoms and choose to turn their backs on liberals?

Currently, black conservatives are off the hot seat. Oh, a few like Michael Steele, the current GOP national chairman, get the almost-obligatory “house Negro” swipe, but that’s not a major concern. No, right now the main objects of the left’s fury are conservative women.

Sarah Palin, of course, is always good to send the left into paroxysms. For example, last week the Washington Post’s Jessica Valenti attacked Palin for her “fake feminism.”

A careful reading of Valenti’s screed, however, shows that Palin fails as a feminist on two grounds: Palin’s staunch anti-abortion stance and that Palin cut funding for a shelter for pregnant teens.

Of course, the latter is a lie. The shelter in question requested a five-million-dollar grant, which Palin used her line-item veto to cut down to 3.9 million. That was more than three times the amount they had received in the preceding two years.

That’s liberal government math for you: ask for a quadrupling of your funding, get a tripling, and that’s a “cut.”

So, with that lie dispensed with, that leaves just abortion as the defining feature of what makes a true “feminist.”

That’s no great surprise to most people. It’s just not usually spelled out so blatantly — that to the self-appointed guardians of the “feminist” label, the only true defining point is whether or not the person is pro-choice. No matter how much you might believe in equal rights for women, if you’re not pro-choice, you’re not a feminist. Conversely, no matter how predatory you are towards women in your personal life, no matter how you treat women in general (yes, Bill Clinton, I’m talking about you), if you’re pro-choice, you’re a champion of women everywhere.

And even if a woman’s stance on abortion isn’t front and center, if she doesn’t toe the line on that issue, she gets thrown to the wolves. Right now in South Carolina, Nikki Haley is running for governor against the established (and wretched) GOP candidate. And hoo boy, is she getting attacked. Two guys with extensive ties to her biggest rival, Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, are claiming that they had affairs with the married Haley over the past few years — without any proof, of course. And another of Bauer’s key supporters referred to Haley (whose parents are Sikhs, but she’s a Christian) as a “raghead.”

These attacks are not based on Haley’s beliefs or positions or actions, but purely on her identity. She’s an attractive woman of exotic heritage.

So, where is the outrage over this? Where are the defenders of principle, who get so bent out of shape over attacking women and minorities?

Well, Haley’s a conservative. Worse, she’s been active in the Tea Party movement and — horrors! — endorsed by Sarah Palin. Therefore, she’s not really a woman and not really a minority.

Not that Haley needs their help. She’s standing firm against these attacks, issuing absolute, indisputable denials and demanding her accusers “put up or shut up.” And she’s making sure everyone knows how her attackers and accusers are all tied to Bauer.

But while the silence of the feminists isn’t really hurting Haley, it’s showing in stark relief their fundamental hypocrisy. Here is a clear-cut case of a woman being attacked and discriminated against based on her being a woman — the very definition of sexism — and they are choosing to remain silent. Because Haley isn’t enough of a “woman” for them. Since she isn’t liberal, she isn’t worthy of their support and their respect.

So the next time the feminists start speaking up, we should all ask them where they were during the attempted destruction of Nikki Haley. If they have any integrity at all, that will shame them into silence.

It won’t, of course. They’ve shown they have very little integrity or shame. But it might at least give them pause.

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