Racism is alive in America. The hacker group Anonymous recently published the names of over 1,000 KKK members, many who turned out to be politicians. A white man murders nine blacks in a Charleston church. Racial tensions envelope Missouri University in chaos. It’s positively retrogressive.
Consider that there are fringe factions who believe, in the 21st century, that the Earth is flat. There are even more people who believe the United States never landed on the moon, despite the wealth of physical evidence left behind. And it is downright appalling and confounding that human beings, after centuries of a bloody civil war and progressive reform, still divide themselves based on skin pigmentation.
Or do they?
A recent study reported by News 4 claims that Western New York is one of the most racist regions of the United States. Surprising (and suspicious), considering our political geography entrenched in the “blue north.” How was this determined? Simply, the study analyzed Google internet search terms, and counted the number of instances the “n-word” was searched. So where are the riots in Buffalo? Hardly science, in my confessedly amateur opinion.
A proponent of affirmative action might say that blacks have a unique history from other groups — 200 years of enslavement and 100 years of legalized discrimination. That’s far from the truth. After Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans were widely detained in internment camps — yet today, Asians statistically tend to be more wealthy and more competitive than whites. Or what of the forgotten Irish slave trade, expounded in the book “White Cargo”? James II of Britain sold 30,000 Irish political prisoners to colonies in the New World, thousands more to colonies in the Caribbean, while the main source of slaves sold to countries like Antigua and Montserrat were Irish.
According to Thomas Sowell, in his essay “The Real History of Slavery,” slavery was not established by racism. It’s the other way around.
Slavery is humanity’s darkest, vilest, most abhorrent sin. Fortunately, it has been (mostly) abolished by Western values — the same culture that is widely blamed for colonization and racism. Civilizations practiced slavery for tens of thousands of years. When one nation conquered another, it was unquestioned that the winner takes all, and the loser becomes mere property. Even for Biblical writers, slavery seemed as natural as farming cattle or breathing air. The involvement of race in slavery is a curiously recent phenomenon.
Consider there was a greater number of Africans enslaved in the Middle East and Europe, and that more than a million Europeans were enslaved by North African pirates. If only Americans knew, we would cease wasting trillions of dollars in aid for “reparations” in African nations, handicapped by imperial powers ruled by our ancestors — not today’s taxpayers who must pay for it.
Is it not racist to assume whites carry inherited superiority? Particularly over blacks? That white supremacy is a notion every white child needs to have vigorously un-learned? This soft-bigotry strikes two directions — when we assume that blacks can’t overcome generational inferiority to whites, we also assume whites can’t overcome their ingrained tendencies toward hatred and exploitation. When we agree blacks are the perpetual, unfortunate victims of white oppression, we tacitly agree whites lack the moral faculties to amend themselves without egregious activism and reform.
My solution to ending racism? Stop perpetuating the tired narrative that black Americans are “held back” and “oppressed” by an Illuminati conspiracy of white privilege; that every white American is guilty of a nebulous, unnameable racism that’s socially coded in our brains. Stop teaching children in public schools the simplistic — and frankly false — narrative that the American Civil War was fought between the bright, freedom-loving North and the evil, slave-driving, racist South. Stop filling people’s heads with the guilt of this legacy, because it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Tragically, I’ve met people who, for recreation, drive around in pick-up trucks screaming “White Power” all over the neighborhood, who tattoo swastikas on their scalps and burn down black churches. But there is also a fringe community that believes the world is flat and that nobody ever landed on the moon. We must all agree these people are scarce and utterly insane, then abandon them in the march of history. Don’t broadcast their villainy and cause a nationwide ruckus over it.
White, self-identified Christians happen to be the American majority. For now. If you’re a proponent of democracy, then you must accept that the majority wield power — even when 51 percent are happy, 49 percent are oppressed.
What if the human species collectively chose to abandon ethno-racial categories entirely? What if everyone woke up tomorrow morning colorblind, tone deaf, and their memories of racism’s rampant pandemic wiped clean from their brains?
Colorblindness has a bad rep among liberals — they say it ignores the complexities of inherited white privilege, wherever it’s hiding and lurking — but if racism’s grueling saga is ever to end, won’t colorblindness be the result?
In the words of Morgan Freeman, “Stop talking about it.”
If we did, it would be a world much closer to Martin Luther King’s dream.