Help Stamp Out Racism ― Stop Talking About it

Racism HandIn case anyone wasn’t aware of how overwhelmingly racist America still is, MSN is promoting a story about a female university student from India who was walking past a frat house when, she claims, a white man leaned out the window and shouted, “You Indian piece of s***!”, then hurled his drink at her. When several other residents of the house later approached her to apologize for the incident, the student, Rini Sampath, says their apologies hurt worse than the offense, because she realized, “Now you know, the first thing they see you as is subhuman.” This was a strange conclusion for the young woman to make, given that the USC student had been chosen by her classmates to be Student Body President. I don’t know about the scholastic experiences of others, but when I voted for student government positions in college, “subhuman” wasn’t among my list of desirable qualities in a candidate.

SampAfter the incident, instead of being calmed by the obvious support of the majority, which had considered her worthy to lead the school’s student government, all Sampath could think about was her hard experiences as a brown-skinned newcomer to America. “All the things people said started playing back in my head, over and over, like a broken record.” Someone should tell this young lady that we are all in charge of what we allow to play in our minds. She might wisely have chosen to ruminate not on the residual ignorance of racism but on the goodwill she encountered from the majority of her schoolmates.

Sampath, mysteriously, chose not to identify her assailant, which seems to pit her actions against her spoken desire to help stamp out racism. After all, if the incident really occurred, her failure to identify her assailant helps him escape the due consequences and hence makes such attacks more, not less, likely in the future. Instead, Sampath poured her heart out about the ordeal on her Facebook page. In response, university officials and students she had never met came out of the woodwork to offer her support. But in spite of the outpouring of friendship, Sampath still contends that “Racism is alive and well.”

I realize that, in order to be a good citizen, I am required to acknowledge that racism is still a Stage-4 cultural cancer that is lurking around every corner, waiting to strike if we should fail to constantly implement new laws to punish it and new programs to combat it. But I’m finding it hard to identify a real ongoing crisis here.

Oh, there is no shortage of people making noise about racism, and of course there is still a remnant of ignorant people who are dumb enough to hate others simply because of their ethnicity. No amount of social pressure can do away with all human flotsam. It isn’t as though sin needs a just rationale to exist ― all it needs is the availability of unrepentant human hearts, and God knows there is no shortage of those.

Racism persists in opposition to all reason and sanity. Racist people have proven themselves able to survive society’s nuclear war of legal and regulatory measures and anti-racismcontinue hating blacks and other minorities. But racism isn’t an institution in America the way it used to be. We’ve made it as objectionable as pedophilia, but in spite of all our efforts to stamp it out, racism lives on. One would think we would start to wonder if coercion can really change the contents of someone’s heart (hint: it can’t). We would do well to weigh the questionable benefits of these increasingly exaggerated contortions and consider the quality of life for the majority, who have no ill will for racial minorities but must still tiptoe through ever-more complex legal and regulatory labyrinths and suffer through the cacophony of daily tirades from the perpetually victimized.

Everyone is aware of the fact that America tolerated racism and discrimination for most of our history. Although we didn’t invent the plantation economy, many of us were happy enough to use the institution of slavery to our advantage, and we all tolerated it for a time. However, those days are long past. As a society, we have condemned racism in every form and done everything humanly possible to eradicate it. Our fixation on compensating victims of racism has created a culture of white guilt ― in spite of the fact that most whites in America have no hostility toward minorities, and none of us had anything to do with the hideous practices of our forbears. Still, the victim status of ethnic minorities persists, even though minorities currently enjoy a protected status far more extravagant than any privilege whites ever had. Members of minority groups benefit from forced-inclusion statutes and regulations and a prevailing assumption of ongoing victimization that paves the way for them in a great many endeavors regardless of merit, and tends to leave them exempt from accountability.

Screen-Shot-2015-09-16-at-9.55.52-AMJust ask Ahmed Mohemed, a Muslim teenager who brought a device into a public school that looked like a bomb. He was detained by school officials until they were able to ascertain that what looked like a suitcase bomb was, in fact, a clock. Some people reasonably observed that, after two decades of school shootings, terrorism and unimaginable acts of mayhem, schools have an obligation to exercise caution to a fault. But these officials were tarred and feathered in the public square for their trouble. The boy’s family have even threatened legal action against the school district. The prevailing narrative ― in this case, that Islamaphobia is a rampant evil in America ― overrode the obviousness of the need to protect students from violent death. It has been observed that if the student in question had been white, there would have been no outrage (it probably wouldn’t have made the national news at all), and it probably would have gone far worse for the student. As one conservative commentator wrote:

Kids of all races — black, white, brown — have landed in serious, sometimes legal, trouble for spraying perfume, chewing a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun, kissing another student, bringing a leaf to school, packing a butter knife in a lunch box, pointing a finger, wearing an American flag t-shirt, shooting Nerf guns, burpingdoodlingdrawing a picture of Jesus, etc. Just this week, 23 students in Virginia were suspended for wearing Confederate flag apparel.

But the schools’ quite restrained response to Mohamed’s ill-thought-out adventure ignited a firestorm of protest around the country, and within a day, the imprudent boy was asked to appear in an exclusive MSNBC interview and even invited to the White House. If this is what racism looks like, how bad can things really be?

Protests can increase the very thing they lament. In the case of the Indian university student, her histrionics are almost guaranteed to pour fuel on the fire. People who are actually racist feed on stories like this: a foreigner complaining about racism after being given the best America has to offer ― a university education, the support of her scholastic community, a sympathetic write-up in the Washington Post. Such displays are sure to cause feelings of weary disdain among even non-racist whites, who face reverse discrimination because of our society’s attempt to legislate and regulate racism away ― well-meaning programs that have, inadvertently, created more racism.

FreemaAcademy-Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman was interviewed by Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes. Wallace asked Freeman how we could end racism, and he responded, “Stop talking about it.” But America has not stopped talking about it, and the constant cry of “racism” has created enmity against whites in minority communities. This would be appropriate if there were still systematic discrimination going on, but there isn’t. It would even be forgivable if, by releasing their pent-up rage, minorities could find healing and enable us all to come together and find common ground. But the continual focus on America’s dark past has breathed new life into the institution of racism ― from the other side.

Reverse racism is as strong ― though perhaps not as widespread ― as the original variety once was in America, and it is indulged by a permissive society that feels it is comeuppance for minority groups that were kicked around for too long. The problem is that, in an attempt to “even the score,” American society is giving its blessing to an evil it claims it wants to purge itself of. We have given victim groups, as one commentator put it, “a moral get out of jail free card.” Racism is wrong no matter who is perpetrating it. Are we seeking to create harmony or to make ourselves feel better about our past sins?

Anyone who doubts reverse racism is real should read about the dust-up between a conservative columnist and Black entertainer Azealia Banks. Banks was interviewed by Playboy Magazine and spoke candidly of her hatred for white conservatives, white teenage girls, white farmers, white Middle-Class Americans, and pretty much everything else associated with white people. Her comments inspired Blaze columnist Matt Walsh to challenge her scathing views and point out the hypocrisy of condemning as racist a country that has afforded her such wealth, fame and freedom. Banks and her fans responded with vitriol. During the exchange, Banks reportedly tweeted photographs of her genitalia to Walsh’s wife. Although Walsh’s article was civil, he was actually accused of racism instead of Banks. Apparently, it is always racist for a white person to identify any sort of wrongdoing by black people. Conversely, a black cannot be considered a racist even if she hates white people.

I’m here to say to my cultural counterparts that we are allowed to lay down the burden of white guilt. We are perfectly within our rights to opt out of these endless crippled gyrations by which we cater to minorities and ignore the more important matters of merit and accountability. Society as a whole is more important than any group within it, and the reverse racism that is being perpetrated (with impunity) upon us is degrading America for all of us. I, for one, am done pretending there is any legitimate reason to continue down this road. Our pettiness and reflexive snarling against everything we think might possibly resemble racism can never eradicate real racism from among us.

So Mr. Freeman, I’m with you. I’m going to stop talking about it.

About Douglas Abbott

I am a freelance writer by trade, philosopher and comedian by accident of birth. I am an assiduous observer of humanity and endlessly fascinated with people, the common elements that make us human, what motivates people and the fingerprint of God in all of us. I enjoy exploring the universe in my search for meaning, beauty and friendship. My writing is an extension of all these things and something I did for fun long before I ever got paid. My hope is that the reader will find in this portfolio a pleasing and inspiring literary hodgepodge. Good reading!
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3 Responses to Help Stamp Out Racism ― Stop Talking About it

  1. Auntie Sarah says:

    Good article, Doug. Racism is a kissing cousin to political correctness. All of it is nauseating to me. As you suggested, anyone to whom American opportunities are available needs to count their blessings, get on with life and make the world a better place than they found it.
    The “whole duty of man” from the little book of Micah comes to mind: “Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.”

  2. Douglas Abbott says:

    “…anyone to whom American opportunities are available needs to count their blessings, get on with life and make the world a better place than they found it.” Amen, Auntie Sarah!

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