America is a Racist Country
But it’s the “right sort of racism”.
By Daniel Greenfield
Next year a racist country will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. Segregation has made a comeback at colleges with racially separate dorms and graduation ceremonies. Corporate employees are expected to join the affinity groups of their race and employers and activists closely scrutinize the race, gender and sexuality of officials, executives and creatives.
Call it wokeness, equity or anti-racism, they all amount to a country that has within a short span of time talked itself into constructing the most racist system since segregation. The sixties were trending away from racism while the twenties are rushing headlong into it. Boomers prided themselves on their tolerance while Zoomers make intolerance into their identity.
Rodgers and Hammerstein had a point with “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”. Americans have been carefully taught to hate by the highest institutions of learning. No Southern educational institution at the height of slavery could have ever conceived of systemically dedicating entire departments and fields of study to asserting why an entire race must be hated.
A range of academia from ‘Whiteness Studies’ to ‘Critical Race Theory’ does just that. Students can attend Harvard or Yale and come away with little else than the knowledge that white people are a primeval evil and that everything they have built must be destroyed. When they graduate, they find lucrative careers in the DEI industry, in the media, in entertainment and in academia.
Popular culture is even worse. Minstrel shows displayed contempt for black people and blackface has been treated as entertainment’s original sin even though black people took their turn being ridiculed along with a panoply of outsiders, the Irish, the Swedes, the Jews, who were reduced to comical or grotesque stereotypes in vaudeville and in low culture. But with a few exceptions, such as ‘Birth of a Nation’, few movies actively sought to inculcate racial hatred.
That’s no longer the case. Hollywood abounds with racially remixed counterparts to ‘Birth of a Nation’: many of which have even received Oscar nominations or awards in recent years.
In a little over a decade America has become a racist country by becoming convinced that inverting racism would do away with it. The old virtues of tolerance, color-blindness and equality have been dismissed as racist, but the new anti-racism that reduces everyone to their race, that makes all of our lives revolve around race, has made racism ubiquitous by renaming it.
Americans have become incredibly racist while remaining convinced that they are anti-racist. Anti-racism has taught a generation that the less racist they are, the more unconsciously racist they must be, and that the more publicly racist they are, the less secretly racist they become.
Anti-racism appeared to have arrived with a precipitous suddenness, but that is only because it was quietly winning the debate that arose after the splintering of the segregation debate between the integrationists, like Martin Luther King, and the black nationalists, like Malcolm X. To see who won the debate, don’t bother looking at a calendar, look at the culture. MLK may have his holiday and his statues, but it’s the black nationalist opponents of integration who won.
While liberals championed MLK, leftists joined with black nationalists to build the domestic terrorist movements that tore apart the country before its members went into academia. Black Lives Matter, styled as the successor to the civil rights movement, consciously links not to MLK, but to black nationalist terrorist Assata Shakur. The police defunding movement can be traced to another black nationalist domestic terrorist Angela Davis. MLK may have a holiday, but very little of what he preached survives. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” has been dismissed and in some cases outright sandblasted out of existence.
Ibram X. Kendi’s anti-racism, Ta-Nehisi Coates, ‘Dear White People’, ‘Get Out’ are where it’s at. When Gov. DeSantis jettisoned an AP black history course that included Amiri Baraka, a black nationalist poet whose most famous verse was, “Rape the white girls. Rape / their fathers. Cut the mothers’ throats”, Democrats and their media erupted in outrage, not at Baraka’s racism, but at Florida’s refusal to let it gain a further foothold in its educational system.
The ascension of the Left in academia and politics swamped the fossilized remnants of tolerance and integration. Empowered black nationalists and leftists swiftly demolished them when they rose to power in the Obama era. And what replaced them was the new racism.
Obama began the process of publicly redefining racism to mean hatred toward black people while dismissing racism toward white people as “reverse racism”. Since then racism has been widely redefined by dictionaries, academics and the media to mean power. Only certain people, that is to say white people and those minorities accused of being “adjacent to whiteness”, can be racist. Replacing hate with power has made woke racists certain that their hate is virtuous. They’re not racist anymore, they’re anti-racist: hating to defeat the power of the real racists.
Anti-racism has taken a 360 degree turn from racism and imagines it’s headed somewhere new.
Where equality failed, equity will succeed, DEI tells us. But what does success look like? Equality sought to raise up minorities while equity tears white people down. Anti-racism insists that equality hasn’t worked because white people unconsciously and institutionally repress black people. White racism is embedded into how people think and everything they do. There’s no way to achieve equality for black people without destroying everything that white people built.
This deranged racist paranoia, worthy of a schizophrenic, has become the official position of the Democratic Party, leading educational institutions and the commanding heights of the culture. Every problem is reducible to white evil at a societally microscopic level and will only end when it is rigorously purged at an equally microscopic level from the psychological to the institutional.
A post-racial society is racist, but a racialist society, one that reduces everything to race, that can discover race in everything, is the only hope of producing equity, DEI practitioners tell us.
Anti-racism claims that it is rigorously scrutinizing everything, history, science, manners, body language, tropes, literature, highways, religion and fashion, to purge it of its racism when it is actually infusing racism into every area of life. The search for systemic racism isn’t discovering racism, it’s creating it. Anti-racialism racializes non-racist institutions into racist ones.
The pursuit of systemic racism has created its own infrastructure of actual systemic racism dedicated to enforcing racial quotas, demanding fealty to racist ideas and eliminating literature, art, laws, individuals, science, and entire ways of doing things because they are ‘white’.
Anti-racism is just racism misspelled with the traditional roles reversed. Like generals who make war for peace, anti-racists wage racism to end racism. But the opposite of racism is still racism.
Hating people to end hate works as well as any other way to save the world by destroying it.
Anti-racism creates monsters by pursuing them because it is a mirror image of everything it opposes. Black nationalists were motivated by racism. Leftists were convinced that only a complete overthrow of society could make the world into a just place. Anti-racism is the bastard child of racism and revolution. Its unhappy marriage of tribal paranoia and academic theory, otherism and power analysis, has festered into the paranoid racist theories of wokeness.
Liberals revolted against monarchy and other forms of tyranny under the banner of liberty. Leftists argued that the problem wasn’t tyranny, but the wrong sort of tyranny. The right kind of tyranny, a dictatorship of the proletariat, would be the only solution to class inequities. In the Civil Rights movement, liberals offered tolerance as the antidote to bigotry, but leftists argued that the problem wasn’t racism, but the wrong kind of racism. Now, just as the right sort of tyranny was tried in Russia and China, the right sort of racism is being tried in America.