Racist Webb

Is Virginia Senator Jim Webb a racist. Nope. Can't be. He's a Democrat.

Just as race issues have returned to the forefront of political debate, Virginia Sen. James Webb (D) on Friday reiterated his opposition to some affirmative action programs and suggested that white Americans are being "marginalized" by current government policies.

Trouble is, Republicans are called racists for speaking the same words.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed headlined "Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege," Webb writes: "Forty years ago, as the United States experienced the civil rights movement, the supposed monolith of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance served as the whipping post for almost every debate about power and status in America. After a full generation of such debate, WASP elites have fallen by the wayside and a plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers."

What is a sane person to conclude?

This is not a new topic for Webb, whose complicated views on race-based programs were an issue in his 2006 Senate campaign, when some of his fellow Democrats complained that Webb sounded like a Republican.

They have a point, of course. Webb does sound like a Republican... as in, not using the reckless charge of racism to be his only political statement.

In a 2000 book review, also published in the Wall Street Journal, Webb wrote that affirmative action "has within one generation brought about a permeating state-sponsored racism that is as odious as the Jim Crow laws it sought to countermand."

Someday, we can hope, Webb's honesty will catch on.