When Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton shows up at an event, you know something related to "race" has transpired and they are capitalizing on someone's misfortune to stroke their own egos. Many Republican bloggers have a name for these guys -- "race pimps" and "race baiters". Presumably, they use these terms to describe those who pimp the race card for personal gain. With respect to Jackson and Sharpton, the description is appropriate. They are slime. They transform serious tragedies into public spectacles.
The problem I find with those who slap the "race pimp" label on Jackson and Sharpton is their broad willingness to affix that derogatory label to any person who suggests that racial animus is at play in a given incident, whether it was the shameful response to Hurricane Katrina or the Rodney King beating. According to the labelers, nothing in America has to do with race and anyone who suggests otherwise is a race baiter.
The response to Hurricane Katrina had nothing to do with the fact that the worst flooded areas were the poorest, blackest areas. When a tourist in New Orleans filmed police beating the snot out of a Black man on Bourbon Street for no apparent reason, the labelers sighed in relief that the victim did not suggest that the police were racist. On to the more mundane, Star Wars I was defended against claims of racism notwithstanding the fact that everyone evil or stupid had an accent and all others spoke properly. Nope. Americans are not racist. That was a long time ago. Get over it. Move on. Stop race baiting.
Strangely enough, however, the labelers who deny that anyone in America has a racist bone in his body are convinced that Christians are being persecuted by atheists in America. Atheists are currently persecuting Christians in America, as the nonsensical story goes, by saying happy holidays, by suggesting that intelligent design is not science and by not allowing a plaque of the Ten Commandments inside a courthouse. Let's summarize. Whites, who are holding onto majority status by the skin of their teeth, have no racists among them, especially no racial animus toward Blacks who make up approximately 12 percent of the population. Atheists, a maximum of four percent of the population (but probably much less) are successfully persecuting the 96 percent of America who are Christians.
I have a name for this stupidity -- "religion pimping" -- those who pimp the religion card for personal gain.
Undoubtedly, there are instances where Christians are offended by someone or something somewhere in the nation, but it is bewildering to comprehend the irrationality behind the suggestion that Christians are being persecuted in a nation that is 96 percent Christian (the percentage varies depending on who you talk to). Persecution is defined as "punishment or harassment usually of a severe nature on the basis of race, religion, or political opinion." Ask a Jew from Germany, Russia or Poland what persecution is. I guarantee you it will sound nothing like what the preppy, self-indulgent, bags of hot air on Faux News are whining about.
Stripping the veneer of religious pimpology, you will see nothing more than a group of people claiming persecution because they are not getting their way (the image of an unruly 5-year-old in a sandbox comes to mind). Sorry religion pimps, but not getting your way is not severe punishment or harassment, even if it feels like that. Not being allowed to reconstitute intelligent design as science is not part of the definition. Not banning gays from getting married is not punishment. And saying happy f'ing holidays is not persecution!
Last I checked, holiday means holy day. Holidays plural means more than one holy day. Since Christmas and Hanukkah generally fall within the same two-week period and since both are commercialized shadows of events that once resembled religion, one can only assume that the holidays (plural) to which Target, Wal-Mart and various cards refer when saying "Happy Holidays" are Christmas and Hanukkah. I have yet to understand how it is persecution to acknowledge Hanukkah? Why don't the religion pimps admit they hate Jews and get it over with? If they had an ounce of sincerity about all that Judeo-Christian heritage, we-love-Israel crap they babble about, the religion pimps would be the ones demanding that everyone else say Happy Holidays in order to bond with their Jewish brothers and sisters in their shared heritage of commercialized holidays. But, alas, that is not the case.
If you find persecution of Christians in a happy holidays card, click here to become a member of Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition. I am sure they will be more than happy to add religion pimps to their ranks of race pimps.