If you’ve been following the news these last few days, no doubt you’ve seen a media type or academic talk about the need for “real” discussions about race and racism.
You’ve also probably seen plenty of virtue signaling by friends and acquaintances on social media. A popular link on Facebook last weekend was the Medium article “75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice” which includes things like donating to the Southern Poverty Law Center(!) and starting up a discussion group for your fellow Caucasians about the “conscious and unconscious biases […] white folks have.” The piece also suggests contacting businesses about which a minority has complained on social media … so you can complain too. (Because as we all know, people never lie or exaggerate on social media.)
Yesterday was “#BlackOutTuesday” where everyone could demonstrate how they hate racism. Celebrities and companies from all over quickly chimed in.
Don’t buy the “real conversations” stuff. The very last thing these folks want is a genuine chat. What they do want is to lecture you about their progressive and critical theory-based ideologies … and to feel good about themselves.
And if you object you’ll be tarred with the “R” word.
For them, much like “bias” incidents that occur on college campuses, George Floyd’s death has become another symptom of generalized “white supremacy.” And that’s it. Nothing else. Popular speakers/consultants like Robin DiAngelo and Glenn Singleton won’t allow consideration of anything else, despite use of congenial terminology. The former shoots down dissent by telling whites they suffer from “white fragility,” while the latter begins workshops by stating up front that family structure, economics, and peer relationships are off limits.
White people are told — at the same time, mind you — their “silence is violence” and to keep their traps shut. Whole college courses and trainings are devoted to white privilege and its associated terminology. White, or at least non-black, professors are subjected to cancel culture and even “disappeared” for committing a racial “sin” like using the N-word in the context of their specific course.
Many whites actually agree that “white privilege” is a real thing (many do not, however, if the social media comments on this article are any indication), but they may differ on remedies. For the DiAngelos and Singletons and academics like them, even this is anathema. Because shut up and listen, Mr. and Mrs. White Person.
Speech is violence. Silence is violence. These are both true. You are to speak and to shut up as directed. You are to kneel, to shout, to raise a fist or pocket your hands upon command. This is to prove you understand justice, and know your place as a good little ally.
— 𝖡𝖾𝗇𝗃𝖺𝗆𝗂𝗇🌋𝖡𝗈𝗒𝖼𝖾 (@BenjaminABoyce) June 2, 2020
There is very little room for middle ground. You must be either this or that. Favor this, or be against that. Ironically, Mr. Floyd’s death led to one of the rare occasions that right and left, and black and white, actually agreed: The incident was a disgraceful instance of police brutality which led to a man’s demise. But this is where the understanding ends.
To reiterate: For academics, the media, and the cultural elite, you must subscribe to the notion that white supremacy is the reason Floyd was killed. Do not say “not all cops are bad,” or “big cities are run by liberal Democrats,” or “look into how unions protect bad cops,” or “stupid laws and stupid legislators put cops in ridiculous situations.” And certainly don’t raise issues like actual racial statistics on police shootings and crime rates.
Again, just. Shut. Up.