Having spent many of my early years in the South, I remember seeing separate schools, water fountains, and bathrooms. I remember when Atlanta’s baseball team was the “Atlanta Crackers!” My dad would tell me privately that such things were wrong and needed to be changed. Much progress has been made since those years in the ’50s.
Of course, there are still some racists who hate others on the basis of the color of their skin. Unfortunately, there is reason to believe that cultural and political forces designed to make things better are actually making our racial divide worse.
To some, refusing to just say “black lives matter” makes me a bigot. But to me, my refusal is a matter of faith. Jesus never let race, class, or position stop him from affirming the love of God for all His children. Do black lives matter? I simply reply like many other Christians, “All God’s children matter—black, white, yellow or brown!” If that makes me a racist in your eyes, I prefer God’s approval for the value of us all.
As to claims of “White Privilege,” tell that to the millions of white Americans struggling with lost businesses, unemployment, and non-existent savings. There are men and women of all races who struggle and need a hand up in difficult times. It’s also true that a child of LeBron James, Beyonce, or Kanye West will grow up with far more privilege than the vast majority of white Americans. Whether you grow up in an intact home with a father and mother may be a much bigger factor in your success than race.
To minimize the importance of race in today’s America is increasingly unacceptable. The University of California has declared that the statement, "There is only one race -- the human race," is racist micro-aggression. Thankfully, black Americans like Shelby Steele are brave enough to do a little truth-telling and to stand up for the gift America has been to its black citizens:
“Racism is virtually gone. There is a little bit of it here and there, but no longer in American life is your life going to be stunted by racial persecution. You are able as a black in today’s America to pretty much do what you are willing to do, and the society at large, for the most part, will offer you good will and encouragement. So racism is not there, but racism is the source of liberal power. They love it. … I grew up when racism was the oppressor. Today liberalism is the great oppressor of black Americans and minorities, because it steels away from them their agency over their own life. Liberals have no faith in the human equality of black people. They believe and all their policies reflect this that blacks are inferior and can’t make it on their own. Their whole mission is to help blacks make it because they are inferior.”
There’s evidence that what he says is true. Black immigrants from around the world come to this so-called “racist” country because they believe America remains a land of opportunity for all races. Currently, one out of eleven blacks in America are immigrants, nearly 3.8 million and growing. Nielsen research finds that the median household income for foreign-born blacks is 30% higher than U.S.-born blacks. They believe America can work for them, and it does.
Instead of fostering belief in America, Democrats campaign on identity-politics and promote the need for special programs and benefits in order for blacks to succeed. The new COVID Stimulus Bill supported by President Biden and Democrats give priority to directing stimulus relief money to help minority-owned small businesses and farmers impacted by COVID restrictions. They’re also fighting for reparations through H.R. 40, once again keeping blacks chained to a welfare mentality.
Blacks today were never slaves to anyone except to their own victimhood which keeps far too many dependent on government support. Black victim hustlers teach their faithful to distrust white Americans and label conservative blacks that refuse to go along as “Uncle Toms.” Realize that making other Americans pay for black reparations risks creating a “black privilege” that could poison race relations in America for decades. It also gives extremists ammunition to recruit more to their hateful ideology.
I am white, and like millions of white Americans, we’re not going anywhere. As Viktor Frankl said, “There are only two races, the decent and the indecent.” Most Americans of all races are good people. We care little about the color of your skin. We care about your character, your decency, and your commitment to contribute to keeping America great.
It’s the racists and the criminals that make the news. It’s time to remember and honor the great Americans of all races who have helped make us who we are. From Condoleezza Rice to Martin Luther King, Jr., from Ben Carlson to Clarence Thomas and Thurgood Marshall, from Oprah Winfrey to President Barack Obama—all have contributed in a mighty way to our amazing American mosaic. Let’s celebrate what is right about our diversity.
Join me in defending our imperfect but critical meritocracy and working to make it even better. Start a small business that uses your gifts and take time to dialogue and befriend Americans outside of your race. Let’s all take responsibility for our own future. When we do, most Americans will be there to encourage and help us succeed. Together, it’s our job to foster earned optimism for a shared future we can be proud of.
Terry Paulson is a Ph.D. psychologist, author, and professional speaker on Earned Optimism, Making Change Work, Claiming Your American Dream, and Becoming a Conservative Values Voter. Contact him to speak before your group at firstname.lastname@example.org.