Diversity Training

Racism: The Last Refuge of Us All?

May 18, 2017

Jogging, jogging paths, cycling, bike lanes, not running over cyclists, hiking, the ethical treatment of animals, food appreciation, veganism, health food, herbal tea, nutritional guidelines, vitamins for health, solar power, legalized weed. All racist, because they’re the product of white culture and “privilege.” See the problem, though? These are all things that white folks (especially those left-of-center) generally do like. These are things that many (perhaps most) white people associate with good. This is a dangerous strategy for the left to pursue, associating racist with good in the minds of young whites. Worse, while accusing whites of being racist for doing things that are seen as healthy and positive, many people of color are exhibiting genuine racism—exclusion, segregation, and words of hatred and bigotry.

The end result of the left’s self-defeating strategy is that more and more whites will be practically forced to adopt a kind of defensive racial pride, the kind that goes, “I’m not saying I’m better on account of my skin color, I’m just saying I’m not bad because of it.” There’s a beautiful irony here. A century ago, black Americans were the ones forced by aggressive white racism to adopt exactly that kind of defensive racial pride. And now the roles have been reversed, and even here in ultraleftist L.A., I’ve recently seen five of my young white liberal friends pushed rightward after being verbally abused online or in person for being white. In one case, an early-20s blond actress friend was chewed out when she left a slow-moving line at Walmart to move to a shorter one. The black woman who had been in front of her in the first line accused her of racism. “You left this line because you can’t stand being near black people, you racist white bitch,” the woman screamed as the cashiers allowed the rant to continue. Later on, my friend admitted to me, “I guess for the first time I see why some people voted for Trump.”

Speaking of whom, even if Trump turns out to be a dud, there’s no question that his campaign helped make right-leaning whites a little less sheepish when it comes to countering racism from the left. In spite of the Nazi-hugging sieg-heiling clods who can only be aggressive in their white pride, a more benign racial awareness among right-of-center whites is bound to continue to grow, in part because Trump is proving to be kind of a dud. The very notion of “conservative principles” lies in shambles at the moment. I hate to say it, but this New York Times op-ed is a must-read on that topic. As the author points out, these days it’s no longer about what conservatives are for, but what they’re against (the left). “Big picture” conservatives are dead in the water. Complex economic theories? Big-government vs. small-government debates? The intricacies of trade? Who cares anymore? GOP leaders were always all talk anyway, and now we have a Republican president who’s all double-talk. As rank-and-file conservatives become increasingly alienated from big-picture issues, they’ll downsize their worldview to the personal.

One can say that an increase in racial consciousness is a fitting and inevitable result of the times we live in. Social media has become dominant in most of our lives, and what does social media do if not reduce everything to the personal? “How does this affect me...here are my thoughts of the day…here are my feelings on that issue.” Social media is total absorption with self. That’s pretty much what a racial-identity-centered worldview is, too.

There’s a reason that 90% of the stories that go viral on social media deal with race or other “identity” issues. That’s what resonates with us now that the political has truly become personal.

If racism is indeed the last refuge of scoundrels, we are certainly on the path to becoming a nation of them.

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