Thursday, March 15, 2018


Charges of “racism” have often been used by the Left against their opponents, but are they true? In "The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech," liberal democrat, Kirsten Powers, wrote:

·       Mary Frances Berry, an African American and former chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights under President Bill Clinton, wrote in a Politico online discussion: “Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats.”

This should remind us of many similar charges, like the Republican party's "war on women." This is not just laughable, but also highly inflammatory! It is this kind of rhetoric that has caused racial division and even violence, but is it true? Powers continued:

·       Berry, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, added, “There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness.”

Although African Americans might welcome such charges and even take it as evidence that the Left is on their side, it has proved to be highly divisive and has served to further alienate black and white. This kind of strategy might serve to rally the vote, but it is also inflammatory and serves to further marginalize people of color.

In a climate where “white guilt” reigns and charges of racism represent a real threat, such charges are thrown around indiscriminately without concern for the damage they cause. In an effort to save a local library, a casual friend wrote a letter to the New York Times and sent me a copy. It charged the local authorities with racism and alleged that they wanted to close it down because it was attracting blacks into a largely white neighborhood.

Wondering if this could possibly be true, I asked my friend how she knew that racism contributed to the closing of the library. She readily admitted that she didn’t know but added that she wouldn’t be surprised if it was true. In any case, she knew that such a charge might bring results.

It doesn’t cost whites to make such wild charges. Instead, they might even think that it makes them look as if they are caring and credible. In any event, it pays off politically. Without any evidence, Hillary Clinton charged the town of Flint, Michigan with “racism” because the town was saving money on water treatment at the expense of the health of blacks.

Both Clinton and Sanders have charged the prison system with perpetuating black slavery by virtue of the disproportionately high number of blacks within the system. While there are private prisons that have a vested interest in maintaining a full prison, there is no direct evidence of any racist intent.

I had worked in the NYC Department of Probation for 15 years and had written letters citing internal abuses. However, I had never seen evidence of racism against blacks.

Charges of racism serve political aspirations even if carnage is their fruit. Shelby Steele is a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. His book, 'White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era' points to the destructive effects of “white guilt” and its indulgent narrative:

·       So we've never had a President of the United States ask anything of black citizens. And I think the reason for that is they've all felt that if they presume to do that, that they would be stigmatized as racist. They don't feel they have the moral authority to speak to us. And that's, I think, one instance where white guilt has worked against us, because it's important for a nation to speak freely and honestly with all of its citizens.

“White guilt” (and charges of racism) is manifested in a paternalism that has undermined black initiative. According to Steele, even black leaders have learned to milk this cow:

·       I think one of the great mistakes black Americans have made in our long history here in America was to begin, in the mid-60s, to sort of rely on the manipulation of white guilt, the manipulation of this stigma; and our leadership has basically been a leadership that's applied this stigma. We call it different things, the race card and so forth.

·       But what were really saying is that if you want to not be seen as racist, you have to do thus and so. And so it's a kind of manipulation of the moral power that blacks have over whites.

Steele argues that playing on “white guilt” has been the strategy of much of black leadership, but has not helped their community:

·       Blacks, on the other hand, are very quick to see racism in situations, even many where it's not there, because racism is our power over whites. And so we tend to embrace it and see it. And if you want to make many of our black leaders angry, just tell them that racism is not the number problem that black Americans face.

·       Because racism is the very essence of black power at this point; it's the power we have that comes to us from the moral capital of our history.

According to Steele, times have changed. It is not racism that is holding blacks back but the victimization narrative:

·       I absolutely, 100 percent believe that if you want to do something in American society, whatever it may be--I'm not saying you will not encounter any racism, but racism will not stop you. When I grew up in segregation, racism cruelly constricted our lives and our opportunities, and you could not do things that might want to do. Today, that's over. One of the most remarkable things is how little we've appreciated the degree of freedom we have as blacks.

Even though people like Nat Turner had been role models for Steele, he applauds this nation for the profound changes he has experienced:

·       What I've encountered in my life, most often in the white world, is good will, is people have who have wanted to help me. When I was younger and starting a career, people who mentored me, who really felt it was important to give me the best opportunity to pursue my dreams. And my sense is that that's really been an experience for most blacks who have tried to venture out and develop themselves.

·       One of the most remarkable things in all of human history is the degree of moral evolutions, of moral evolution, that white Americans have made from the mid-60s to this day. No group of people in history have morally evolved away from a social evil that quickly and to that degree in this sort of short span of time. And very often, in our calculations in thinking about race, we don't give whites credit for that.

However, there are strong political motivations for not giving any credit to this nation:

·       We keep wanting to sort of keep them on the hook as racist. But the fact is that whites see racism as a disgrace and something that they would do almost anything not to be identified with.

Steele argues that there has been an unhealthy partnership “between white guilt and the black power”:

·       …we have looked to whites so much in the last 40 years, in terms of doing things to help us advance in American life, that we inadvertently put ourselves back in the position of being dependent on the very people who oppressed us in the first place. One of my arguments in the book is that's the dependency that we need to try very hard to break and, again, rely much more on our own abilities and talents, which I think are considerable.

This had also been the reasoning of the great black abolitionist Frederick Douglass:

  • Everybody has asked the question. . ."What shall we do with the Negro?" I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are wormeaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature's plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! 

Misguided idealism and the facile charges of white racism have hurt the black community. Walter E. Williams, professor of economics, George Mason University, does not think that the problems that the black community is now experiencing are a product of slavery, Jim Crow, or even systemic racism, but of welfare programs:

  • A major part of the solution should be the elimination of public and private policy that rewards inferiority and irresponsibility. Chief among the policies that reward inferiority and irresponsibility is the welfare state. When some people know that they can have children out of wedlock, drop out of school and refuse employment and suffer little consequence, one should not be surprised to see the growth of such behavior. The poverty rate among blacks is about 30 percent. It’s seen as politically correct to blame today’s poverty on racial discrimination, but that’s nonsense. Why? The poverty rate among black intact husband-and-wife families has been in the single digits for more than two decades.

According to Williams, political correctness has even undermined largely black schools:

  • Education is one of the ways out of poverty, but stupid political correctness stands in the way for many blacks. For example, a few years ago, a white Charleston, South Carolina, teacher frequently complained of black students calling her a white b—-, white m—–f—–, white c— and white ho. School officials told her that racially charged profanity was simply part of the students’ culture and that if she couldn’t handle it, she was in the wrong school.

Failing to hold students accountable for anti-social behavior corrupts the school and diminishes the possibility of obtaining a good education.

According to Williams, over-indulgent liberal policies have de-motivated blacks by holding them accountable to lower standards:

  • Many whites are ashamed and saddened by our history of slavery, Jim Crow and gross racial discrimination. As a result, they often hold blacks accountable to standards and conduct they would never accept from whites. A recent example is black students at colleges such as NYU, UC Berkeley, UCLA and Oberlin demanding racially segregated housing. Spineless college administrators have caved to their demands. These administrators would never even listen to a group of white students demanding white-only housing accommodations. These administrators and other guilt-ridden whites have one standard of conduct for whites and a lower standard for blacks.

White guilt and idealism hold blacks to a lower standard, approving their racial prejudices while penalizing whites for the same. This can only serve to further divide and exclude blacks from white society.

Williams claims liberal policies have also made academic excellence more unattainable:

  • Black people can be thankful that racist forms of double standards and public and private policies rewarding inferiority and irresponsibility were not broadly accepted during the 1920s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. There would not have been the kind of intellectual excellence and spiritual courage that created the world’s most successful civil rights movement.

Instead of coming to grips with the negative impact of liberal policies, the liberal idealists have instead invented alternative explanations for black failure, including "white privilege" and "systemic racism." What happened to the ideal M.L. King strove to achieve - to judge, not by skin color, but by character?

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