Like many of you, I was recently challenged to have a conversation on racism. Fair enough, but you should know that by merely being white, conservative and Christian (the racist trifecta), some would say I have no place in the conversation, that my opinion is irrelevant. Add in the fact I am a male, and mic drop, end of conversation. What value could I possibly add to this discussion? I might as well sit down, shut up and take notes. But where would be the fun in that?
I understand some believe my “white privilege” has made me blind to the topic. Having been the benefactor of white institutions, most built on the backs of non-whites (as some believe), makes me useless to the conversation. That is what a lot of people calling “for a conversation” believe. Just a casual internet search using the words “white people, conversation, racist, racism” will prove my point. The search result runs the gamut of “respected” news outlets, nonprofits, educational institutions and activist bloggers. Some sources try to take the topic seriously, while some are nothing more than ideological echo chambers, or more like torture chambers.
Your web search will return articles with such titles as “Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race,” “White fragility leads to white violence,” “White people, stop asking us to educate you about racism,” “Dear white people, you don’t need a torch to be part of the problem,” or worse. Most of these articles are like fingernails on a chalkboard, and they start from the same failed premise, the belief that America is a racist nation. If you disagree that today’s America is a racist nation, and you are white, that is proof you’re racist, end of conversation.
If you are non-white and disagree, you are labeled an Uncle Tom, house Negro (or worse), sell-out, Oreo, race-traitor, and once again, end of conversation. All these taunts have been hurled at people such as Thomas Sowell, Jay Stephens, Walter E. Williams, Herman Cain, Larry Elders, Dr. Alveda King, Jay Fayza, Taleeb Starkes, and many more known and unknown. Their crime? Daring to hold a differing opinion. Contrary to what far too many believe, they have credible, differing opinions on the topic of racism, but they are ignored or dismissed because they are not part of the echo chamber that created on this topic.
Let me state a simple fact. America is not a racist nation, period. Some who believe I have come to that conclusion while skipping through the world shielded by my “white privilege” are wrong. However, there is nothing I can say or do to convince you that in fact I am not a racist, unless of course I proclaim a lie, and say America is indeed a racist nation. Like the infamous swimming test used to “prove” whether a person was a witch, I am tied up, bound by an illogical thought process, and thrown into the water. If I sink, I am not a witch, but I drown. If I float, I am a witch and I get to live, so I can be burned at the stake. To commit to that which I know is not true may spare me the aggravation of being labeled a racist, but I am only avoiding the inevitable.
Racism, as defined by a dictionary, is “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” Do some individuals in this country possess this belief? Yes, and we need to shine the light on them every chance we get. As a nation one of the key principles of our society today is that it is wrong to judge people collectively, yet that is exactly what those who believe in the myth of white privilege are doing.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), as well as many others, has tried to “legitimize” the term white privilege by applying a rambling, convolutive definition:
“White skin privilege is not something that white people necessarily do, create or enjoy on purpose… white skin privilege is a transparent preference for whiteness that saturates our society. White skin privilege provides white people with “perks” that we do not earn and that people of color do not enjoy. Second, it creates real advantages for us. White people are immune to a lot of challenges.”
Once again, I am white, therefore I am blind. The SPLC was founded with a noble purpose, but was corrupted a long time ago, and in some cases is guilty of a witch hunt against people who disagree with it. The SPLC has become a spiteful, petty organization, which is sadly cited as a creditable source when some try to discuss racism in America. Its response to my belief most likely would be, “of course he would say that, he is a racist.” End of conversation.
Are there racists and bigots in this country? Yes, and sadly there always will be. Are there prejudiced people in this country? Yes, and we need to confront them whenever we witness their misdeeds. However, in 2017, a forensic review of the facts of who we are as a nation, disproves the ludicrous notion that we are a racist nation. Racism and white privilege have become convenient terms to shut conversation down, and shut people up. It does not matter what statistics or facts I present that show the truth that America is not a racist nation. Because my “whiteness,” my skin color is the problem, and until I acknowledge that falsehood, I am blind to the truth. End of conversation.