This was a difficult entry to write and it dawned on me the reason: a fear of being called out as a racist- overt or closeted. And it further dawned on me that no matter how carefully chosen the words or delicate the language, there would be some who would describe it as racist.
Guilt can be a great motivating factor in individuals and in societies. A good example is the collective guilt felt by the German people after World War II.
Or, it could be a debilitating weapon. It would appear that long after the Civil War, the days of Jim Crow and passage and advances under civil rights legislation, there has not been enough “guilt” experienced by whites in America, or so the Left would have us believe. Because all those tangible and legal manifestations of racism have been eliminated, all they have left is the subconscious. Therefore, the very principles and institutions that served to wipe out the vestiges of real racism are now stigmatized.
Once stigmatized, these institutions lose their moral authority for race-related reform. As such, they cannot lead to reforms that address a problem like inner city poverty where principles like self-reliance, hard work, moral responsibility, sacrifice and initiative had formerly worked. They are now considered by the Left racist principles themselves. Towards the end of the civil rights era, the issue of racism ceased to be about actual racism. It became a weapon to transfer moral authority from some people and bestow it on others.
The Left had been looking for ways to make illegitimate our economic and political system. They found an easy avenue in race. They began to disassociate themselves from their own racism and shifted that association onto others. That helps explain the view today that the GOP- the party of Lincoln- is a party of racism (Thomas Perez’ words, not mine).
In this view, racial conflict is not a means to an end; it is the end. The Left needs white supremacists so they can continue the battle as much as the supposed alt-right needs their racial bogeymen to remain popular in some quarters. They are the flip side of the same coin. Hence, among the Left the current trend is to abase whiteness while praising and rewarding non-whiteness. Being the victim becomes righteous and to be on the side of righteousness, you need a victim so it pays to keep victims around.
We remember these names because the media has been the willing accomplices of the Left: Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray. But can any reader remember the name of a single Dallas police officer killed by a black gunman without doing a Google search? Yes, all these were black men who died at the hands of white police officers and the media would have you believe, in their effort to continue that atmosphere of guilt, that this is an epidemic of genocidal proportions. Black Lives Matter certainly perpetuates that rhetoric.
It may surprise some to know that according to a Washington Post database of people killed by police, of the 990 killed in 2015, 494 or 49.4% were white victims. A total of 258 were black (or 26%). And of the 990 killed, 79% were armed with a deadly weapon. But, the media ignores the 49.4% killed because it does not fit the narrative. Consider also that there are 45.6 million blacks in America. The number killed by police represent 0.000006% of the black population. Yet, police departments are racially biased and this is genocide. Genocide? It does not even approach “widespread” proportions.
If the Left wants to talk genocide, consider this: Planned Parenthood kills more unarmed black people in a single DAY than police kill in a single YEAR. Genocide? How about the 2,719 blacks murdered in 2015 at the hands of another black? Black Lives Matter insists that police show a deference towards white suspects, that they are more apt to de-escalate the situation rather than pull the trigger. One guesses those 494 dead white bodies are to just be ignored. Perhaps they should change their name to Some Black Lives Matter.
And despite this, whites are supposed to experience guilt. One website stated this:
There are a significant number of people in the United States who are descendants of those who settled in America in the 1600’s and 1700’s – the times of the extermination of Native Americans and the enslavement of Africans. Some of these descendants own the crimes committed by their ancestors.
Often such folks are unwilling to acknowledge the opportunities that were open to them as white immigrants that were not open to people of color.
That is the gist of the argument in a nutshell- the sins of the father are most definitely visited upon the son, grandson, and so on. We are reminded of sins of commission, sins of omission and ultimately being the beneficiaries of an immoral system. Therefore, that immoral system must be dismantled.
One has to come to the conclusion that, in fact, white people (and I posit the majority of white people are not racist) have nothing to feel guilty about in the first place. Have whites and Western civilization engaged in oppression, war, imperialism, colonialism, genocide and slavery in the past? Of course, but it is hardly anything unique to the color of one’s skin.
In 1860 at its height, there were an estimated 3.9 million slaves in the United States. At its height, the Arab world had a low estimate of 10-20 million slaves and slavery existed in Africa long before any white man stepped foot on that continent. Slavery existed in ancient Babylon and Egypt long before there was Western civilization. Japan was colonizing and being imperial alongside western powers, often using brutal tactics. And just as whites had perfected the practice of slavery, they were equally good at ending the practice, something that cannot be said of these other civilizations (some even to this day).
Does it make the practice morally right or any less repugnant? Absolutely not, but revisionist history has wiped away these facts to fit a false narrative. And it is a narrative that one cannot win because “one can never know.” If you are the white descendant of someone in this country before 1860, you are guilty. If you are the white descendant of someone in this country after 1865, you are guilty. Pre-1860- slavery; post-1865- beneficiary of a racist system.
Denying that one can be a racist or entertain racist thoughts, we are told by the Left, is a common defense of whites. By denying the existence of racist thoughts, whites negate the depth of the racial divide. They even claim that being actually color blind is not good enough. Said one sociologist: “An inability to be open to the possibility that the experience of the other could be valid is a consistent element of white supremacy.” Hence, we have taken the Orwellian step of yearning for a color blind society as being a precursor to white supremacy.
Ignoring context and crying on social media makes one an accomplice of what the Left has wrought on race relations in America. But, someone else’s actions are not the result of your “privilege.” Compassion and empathy need not be capitulation. A person of any color can agree on racial justice without falling for a false movement based upon unjust lies.
Every effort at racial reform in America since the 1960’s has been based upon a deference towards those who fan the flames of racial divide. Instead of solving the problems facing the black community based on time-honored principles, it is now based on remorse. Caring, compassion, feeling and empathy have replaced principle.
Unfortunately, this strategy has not worked as evidenced by the problems facing the black community prevalent today. Rarely are blacks themselves held accountable for their own communities. Deference asks less of the black community and exempts it of the expectations to which everyone else is held. Welfare, affirmative action and multiculturalism all serve to spare blacks of the rigors required for self-sufficiency.
It was not joblessness or ‘the man” keeping a race down over the past 35 years- it was 35 years of deference and abandoning principles. The concept of white guilt is morally, intellectually, factually and historically indefensible. The consequences of it only strengthen the Left’s narrative and little else.
No, I am not black and NO I cannot know what it is like for a black person to be pulled over by the police for no apparent reason. But, I can disagree with it and call it unfair and unjust when it is rightfully so. Unfortunately, that is not good enough in the mind of the Left until I totally capitulate to their mindset. And that makes me a racist in their view.