This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
When Everything is Racist, Nothing Is
John Green 9/15/2021 9:01 AM
Prior to the second half of the 20th century, racism was a genuine problem in America. However, the civil rights movement of the 1960s focused attention on the issue. The peaceful protests of Martin Luther King provided clarity of message and the moral high ground. We made great progress. Prejudice against people of color became socially unacceptable. It became taboo – and that was a good thing.
Unfortunately, within a few short years, leftists highjacked the movement. Just as they do with everything, they perverted it. Consistent with their “never let a crisis (or opportunity) go to waste” mentality, they turned a noble societal pursuit into another exercise in the advancement of Marxism.
The diversity industry sprang up in the 1990s and has been embraced broadly throughout the country. Both industry and government endorse its lessons. It teaches us to embrace our racial, cultural, and ethnic differences – but not our political differences. In fact, we are encouraged to celebrate our differences over our commonalities. This inevitably led to the construction, rather than destruction, of cultural walls. Did the “diversity” industry not see that this would be the result of their ideology – or did they not care? We no longer embrace the assimilation of the “melting pot.” We are embracing cultural communities within communities – segregation. A number of colleges had separate graduation ceremonies this year. One school system in Atlanta is even segregating classes by race again. It’s not being done by the evil right-wing haters – it’s being done by the progressive left.
The leftists have also created a grievance industry to amass wealth and power. One need only observe the shenanigans of so called “civil rights leaders” like Al Sharpton and Patrisse Khan-Cullors, to see that their objective is not to address racism, but to make money, and perpetuate the scam. They extort money from businesses and individuals by threatening them with protests and boycotts. Ms. Khan-Cullors has raised over 900 million dollars with her BLM organization, and has purchased multiple luxury homes. Al Sharpton is paid over a million dollars annually by the National Action Network – a charity which he founded. They keep a willing army of activists at the ready to support their business pursuits by stoking racial hatred.
BLM has inflamed millions with the claim that hardships suffered by the black community are not their fault. They are mere victims of systems which are targeting them. Blacks aren’t disproportionately represented in prison because they’ve made bad decisions, but because they’ve been targeted by the criminal justice system. The entire black community is being excused from any type of personal accountability.
Last year, the grievance industry treated us to the 1619 project. It was promoted in newspapers and classrooms across the country. The premise of the 1619 project is that the true founding of our country didn’t occur in 1776, but rather in 1619 – when the first slaves arrived in America. Its message is clear – America was not founded on the principle of equality for all – it was founded on the principle of oppression for the benefit of wealthy land owners. The project maintains that America was founded on the principle of evil, and carries that guilt forever.
CRT is teaching our children that all citizens of European descent have benefited from “white privilege.” As such, they are inherently racist – because of some genetic similarity with long dead oppressors. Our systems are racist. Our institutions are racist. Anyone with a certain skin tone is racist.
However, the grievance industry has a fatal flaw. Like all words, if overused, the word “racism” becomes meaningless. If everything is racist, nothing is. In the past year, the left has declared that all people with light skin-tones are racist – and must atone by living in a continual state of apology. Our institutions are systemically racist. Statues must be removed because they originated from “white privilege” – even those of people who fought against slavery. Buildings must be renamed if they honor anyone who benefited from “white privilege.”
In Madison Wisconsin, leftists have just declared a rock to be racist. It wasn’t adorned with any inscription. There was nothing racist about its name. But it had to be removed because its very presence on campus was offensive. Even an unthinking, inanimate object became racist because of something someone said about it in a newspaper article almost 100 years ago. People, systems, institutions, buildings, statues, and now even a rock are guilty of the unpardonable sin of racism. We have reached peak absurdity. The word means nothing anymore. The left has devalued the term to the point that it has no power – and those wielding it are worthy only of ridicule.
So, this is the point we’ve reached – everything is racist and segregation is good again. Leftists insist that as a “white guy” I’ve lived a life of privilege. I admit, I have lived a very good life. But my privilege stems for being an American and making the most of my opportunities – not from the color of my skin. They can’t shame me by calling me a racist ever again. In the future, when they say I’m a racist, I’ll understand what they’re saying – that I harbor hatred towards my fellow man just like that rock. Not only can I live with that, but I can also be proud of it.
John Green is a retired engineer and a graduate of Purdue University. Much of his career was spent in the field of military weapon systems development. When it comes to defense systems acquisition, he has seen how the sausage is made. His work has included product design, quality assurance, engineering management, organizational development, and corporate strategic planning. John and his wife left Minnesota for political reasons. They now reside in free Idaho, where he spends his time writing political and social commentary. Much of John's work is considered satire, but he claims that is only because our current political leadership has given him no choice.
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