Editor's Note: Jim McCoy coauthored this column.
Spoiler alert: Progressives and BLM members probably fail to acknowledge the worth of anything we write about the topic of race since we are cis-gendered, white males. But here goes anyway.
The Random House Unabridged Dictionary (the giant one) defines racism as: “a belief that different races have distinct characteristics that determine their respective cultures, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.” A racist is thus someone who believes in the tenants of racism—that one’s race is superior to another.
With the adjective (modifier) form “racist,” America’s Left has made racism the coin of their realm. Systemic racism is exclusively an attribute of white conservatives. The president is racist because he wants to close our borders to illegal immigrants, wants to restrict Chinese spies who enter America in order to obtain a superior education and steal secrets and intellectual property for exportation to the Chinese government and industry, and wants to stop the looting, vandalism and personal injury to people by allegedly peaceful protesters like Antifa and Black Lives Matter.
In a conversation on the Tucker Carlson Show, Tucker said racism is “a way to make people be quiet and stop asking questions about economics, as far as I can tell." Civil Rights leader Robert Woodson, Jr., the former head of the National Urban League Department of Criminal Justice, said in regard to the current civil rights movement, that if black people led institutions, "all of black America would be better off." After eight mediocre years of mixed-race president Barack Obama, and with more and more black people in Congress and positions of power and influence in government, that notion is discernably not the case.
The alleged origin of racism is viewed as white privilege by progressives. In a recent CitiJournal article Charles Love argues that “wokeness” has embedded into white consciousness that all blacks are the same and face impossible barriers to improvement. He argues that “a sleeping giant has been awakened in white America. Most woke whites probably have good intentions, but their symbolic gestures will at best have little effect and at worst do real harm…with their views of blacks as wounded and perpetually oppressed, woke whites would do more good by doing nothing.” As Allyn Wayne Root has succinctly established in these pages, the tiny percentage of Americans who actually have “white privilege” are spoiled-brat, Ivy League-educated white liberals—not unlike the Congressional Democrats wearing Ghanaian Kente cloths who took a knee in silence for nearly nine minutes to honor George Floyd in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali opined this Saturday in the Wall Street Journal that “What the media also do not tell you…is that America is the best place on the planet to be black, female, gay, trans or what have you. We have our problems and we need to address those. But our society and our systems are far from racist.”
She has countered the progressive claim that America is systemically racist by saying, “If America is a chronically racist society, then why are the 'deaths of despair' studied by Anne Case and Angus Deaton so heavily concentrated among middle-aged white Americans? Did the Covid-19 pandemic make us forget the opioid epidemic, which has disproportionately afflicted the white population?” While the rioting violence has now throttled back a little, the revolution promoted by those on the left has escalated. Statues of American heroes are being torn down and we have even seen a video of conservative Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy taking a knee and shining the shoes of Lecrae, a Black musician, allegedly to show a sense of shame for his white privilege.
Permit out sharing of how at least one academic group, “Communication Affiliates Committed to Antiracist Communication,” is responding to recent events and the alleged racism in America. These are mostly strident Gen Zers and young Millennials, the very same kind of citizen who participated in the recent rioting and protests.
Prepare to be vilified. After reading this refuse, we understand why so many good people see the academy itself as hyperbolically racist. Professor John Ellis in Breakdown of Higher Education, says that “I think you can bet on the fact that most of the almost insane left radical left ideas that are floating to the surface in the wider world now come ultimately from the campus. The campus is so far left and so irrational now and its leftism is poisoning the culture. One profession after another is essentially being corrupted.” To them America is fascist, all of it except the ideas that they espouse. It’s like they’ve been given a new hammer and everything and everyone except the woke need pounding. Since the communication discipline began with rhetorical studies and the works of Aristotle, Plato, Quintillion, Socrates and other ancients, this is an uneducated slam against a revered body of knowledge preceding these snowflakes-- cancel culture by people who should, but obviously don’t know any better.
If every white person in America followed this directive, it wouldn’t change the black-on-black murder rate, black fatherless children rate, black incarceration rate, black poverty rate or the dismal performance of many black children over the past 50 years one iota. It is simply moral preening by our politically-minded Democrats and media betters. Their rationalization, and sometimes full-throated defense, of violence from left-wing elites--their glorification of havoc, their vilification of cops and their middle-class admirers, their highfalutin defense of vandalism should be an eye-opener to us all. The sense of revolution and class warfare has been everywhere since May 25th. Now this is racist!
Let us deconstruct the racism argument a little further. Philosophers and theologians have long dealt with the "if everything is x then nothing is x" conundrum. This can be applied to the ubiquitous claim that white privilege leading to white racism is institutional in America and the countervailing claim that “black people can’t be racist because racism is only practiced by white people.” Academics, Democrat politicians and the MSM continually imply, if not voraciously argue, that everything that is white, is racist. But if everything is racist, then nothing is actually racist except maybe the people making this claim. If you talk about it, it must exist. So is constantly talking about it to prove your point. That is exactly what is happening in our nation today at great social, emotional, and economic costs.
In a Guardian interview, Barack Obama, the left’s “golden child,” stated that “taking full responsibility for our own [black] lives … by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.”
To actually accomplish this requires accepting individual responsibility for your personal failures and accomplishments, not blaming others for being racist.