When Race Relations Get Trivialized

Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.

What follows are some stories of interest that caught this writer’s attention recently in the area of race relations in the United States.  To hear some people talk and write, I was unaware the country was a seething cauldron of racial animosity.  Don’t get me wrong: I am sure there are true examples of racism out there and I’m sure there are true blue, red-blooded racists also, but as these stories illustrate, concentrating on the trivial does the discussion a huge disservice.


For example, the California Polytechnic Institute at San Luis Obispo is making the world a better place by decreasing the number of Caucasians admitted.  Supposedly, when some threshold- defined as less than 50% whites- will quality education be achieved at the school. Their 30-page diversity intitiative states that in 2011, 63% of the student body was white, but that had dropped to 55% in 2017 with “still much work to do.”  Considering that the white population of California is about 40%, one guesses that once the student body reaches 40% white, quality education will have been achieved.

A University of Michigan professor, Dolceta E. Taylor, she has irrefutable proof that the environmental, or green, movement in the United States is racist.  That proof? She bemoans the fact that most environmental groups are headed by white men.

According to a study by someone at UCLA and hyped by USA Today, Uber, Lyft and even regular, old-fashioned taxis are examples of institutional racism.  It was even the subject of a doctoral dissertation. The study concluded that “people of color” were more apt to wait longer for any of these services than white people.  They also stood a greater chance of having the ride canceled. No word yet on whether there is pending civil rights legislation to address this travesty.

There is a push in Wyoming to change the University of Wyoming’s sports nickname to something other than “Cowboys.”  Apparently, the female, nonwhite, transgendered, gay and lesbian population of Wyoming is so triggered by the term that there is now a push to change the name so as not to cause cardiac conniptions among the offended.  Things even got worse when the University initiated an advertising campaign with the slogan, “The world needs more Cowboys.” To the offended, they heard, “The world needs more Hitlers.”


According to one newspaper report, the nickname is problematic because “The mascot is white.  It is also a man.” Darrell Hutchison of the Northern Arapahoe tribe says the nickname is exclusionary and doesn’t make nonwhites feel good about themselves.  University professor Donal O’Toole says the mascot and slogan are simply sexist. Said university spokesman Chad Baldwin: “…a cowboy is not what you are, but who you are.”

One imagines Gene Autrey, Tom Mix and John Wayne smiling down from heaven giving these people a hearty middle finger.  What’s next?  The NFL’s Dallas Cowsomethings?

Carrolton, Georgia is a predominantly white town west of Atlanta near the Alabama state line.  Their mayor is Gerald Byrd who happens to be black. He recently posted a picture on Facebook of an Indian (a/k/a Native American, a/k/a Indigenous Person) next to a black man with the caption:

“The genocide of one race, the enslavement of another.  Both people in the photo are the same. White man has and is destroying the world.”

When brought to the attention of the black mayor of a predominantly white town that the posting just might be racist itself, he snorted back:

Blacks and other minorities do not hold institutional and financial power to control any part of America except that we boycott, therefore we are not racists and cannot be.

I would say being the mayor of a town qualifies as at least “institutional power.”

A recent article at The Root has advised all whites of words and phrases to be avoided since they are racist dog whistle terms and living proof of one’s inherent racism.  First, black people- who happen to be people who are black- are not to be called “black people.” Another word to be avoided is “urban” since The Root seems to think that only black people live in urban areas.  “At risk” is another verboten term. Simply, there are no “at risk” people in the world.  Next up: “drug dealer.” Are they somehow suggesting that only black people can be drug dealers?  And wouldn’t they themselves be perpetuating a stereotype? Another one- “single parent.” Again, are they suggesting that only black people are single parents (although in predominance, statistics don’t lie).  Two others are “underserved” which one guesses is sort of like “at risk,” and “gang related.” And henceforth, any mention of the word “Chicago” is proof you are a racist.


On behalf of the white population, this writer apologizes to all the underserved and at risk drug dealing gang members who happen to be single parents living in the city of Chicago.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, who has the unfortunate reality of being white, recently visited a rather crappy school in a crappy part of Louisville and stated that the students he met, who happen to be black, were smart and amazing students.  One would have thought he appeared in a white hood and robe and burnt a cross on the playground given the reaction. Bevin apparently was surprised that he found some students playing chess.

Civil rights leaders throughout the state quickly excoriated the Governor for his insensitive remarks and belief his perpetuation of a stereotype that black kids could not play chess illustrates his “deteriorating relationship with the state’s African-American community.”  

In related news, The Root has updated their list of racial dog whistle terms to now include “playing chess.”

These instances illustrate just a fragment of the trivial nonsense perpetuated by those who see a racial bogeyman behind every tree.  From cowboys to chess to taxi service, the racial complaint industry is alive and well in America.  Unfortunately, they do the communities they claim to represent a huge disservice.




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