White racism, like disco or barbershop quartets, faded from popularity a while back. The KKK last flourished a century ago by which time it had branched out to ranting about Catholics and Jews. Even then its power was slight and its views less mainstream compared to that of black racists today.
In 1925, at the peak of its power, the KKK managed to bring 40,000 members to a march in Washington D.C. The Nation of Islam, which believes that white people are an inferior race created by a mad scientist to taint black blood, was able to bring 400,000 marchers to the city with its Million Man March. Participants included black leaders like Jesse Jackson, MLK III, Rosa Parks and Barack Obama.
Polls these days rarely bother asking about real racism. Even in 1972, fewer than 15% of whites supported school segregation. Today 84% of whites support interracial marriage.
The final frontier of racism consists of complaints about microaggressions. The name speaks for itself.
Questions about open racism are rarely asked anymore; they are inferred. Rather than tackling segregated water fountains, the government pursues disparate impact from which discrimination is inferred, often in absurd ways. Requiring a high school diploma or a spotless criminal record for a job are examples of disparate impact. It’s not racism. It’s anything that somehow disadvantages black people.
Even if black people are the ones disadvantaging themselves.
The modern incarnation of racism assumes that any differences between black and white people, whether of opinion, employment or criminal record, are the result of white racism.
If white people believe that the criminal justice system mostly works, it’s because they are racist. If they have a higher net worth, it’s because of racism. If they’re less likely to be arrested, it’s racism at work.
That’s not just the politically convenient mantra of a Democratic Party trying to explain away the impact of its failed policies on the inner city or of left liberals justifying their hold on power with wild accusations of bigotry. It’s also the widespread belief of many millions in the black community.
There’s a name for a belief that a specific race is malignant and that it should be blamed for everything that is wrong; racism. White people no longer believe that about black people. Many black people however continue to believe that they are in a permanent state of conflict with white people.
While white racism has gone away, black racism has not.
At the root of the conflicts in Baltimore and Ferguson, in the racial conflicts stirred up by the administration, and in a thousand other sore points is a largely unacknowledged tribalism.
Tribalism is not in and of itself wrong. Our communities and our cultures make us who we are. It becomes a problem when tribalism breeds paranoia that dehumanizes those outside the group. It becomes a sickness when it requires members of the community to cover up crimes and atrocities.
Fewer black women than white women have come forward to accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault. Did Cosby choose to concentrate on white women? The evidence from those black women who have come forward suggests that they believed they needed to protect the black community by covering for him.
One of Cosby’s black victims writes that she was hesitant because, “I struggled with where my allegiances should lie – with the women who were sexually victimized or with black America, which had been systemically victimized.”
If you want to understand why so many black people stand with drug dealers and robbers, the words of this NYU grad talking about being assaulted by one of the wealthiest black men in America frames that choice in a world far away from the inner city.
Beverly Johnson, another of Cosby’s black victims, told of a very similar struggle. “Black men have enough enemies out there already, they certainly don’t need someone like you, an African American with a familiar face and a famous name, fanning the flames.”
"As I wrestled with the idea of telling my story of the day Bill Cosby drugged me with the intention of doing God knows what, the faces of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and countless other brown and black men took residence in my mind.”
“The current plight of the black male was behind my silence."
These black women had to choose between two sets of enemies; white people and a black rapist. It took a great deal for them to decide that white people were the lesser evil.
They were professionally successful. They had spent a great deal of time among white people. And yet they could not get over the idea that they had to maintain a united front against white racism.
Even at the cost of allowing other women, white or black, to be sexually assaulted.
Even in a realm where all the inner city issues of unemployment, poverty and police brutality had been taken off the table, solidarity with criminals against white people was still the rule of the day.
How many black women were assaulted and chose not to speak out? We’ll never know. Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver wrote of his rapes, “I started out practicing on black girls in the ghetto… when I considered myself smooth enough, I crossed the tracks and sought out white prey.”
How many criminals find the ghetto a safe place to practice rape, burglary, drug dealing and murder before moving on up? Most never ‘cross the tracks’ and even when they do, they come back.
What is the social cost to black people of harboring and defending criminals?
These are the “precious children”; the gang members, drug dealers and robbers that furious inner city mobs wail over, who unlike cops, black or white, belong to the “community.” Even if they are destroying that community while the cops are the ones trying to hold what’s left of it together.
That’s what Baltimore and Ferguson are really about. Too many black people define their tragic circumstances in terms of a white enemy, when they are really their own worst enemies.
Solidarity with criminals leads to crime; it leads to dead bodies on the street, little girls getting shot in the crossfire, police patrols, full prisons, police brutality, business abandonment, high risk neighborhoods, unemployment, poverty, drug use and despair.
This isn’t what white people do to black people; it’s what black people do to themselves out of hatred and fear of white people. Black racism maintains the idea of a white enemy that is obsessed with destroying black people. This enemy exists only in the heads of black people destroying themselves.
The idea of white racism is needed to maintain a state of virtuous victimhood from which to launch noble struggles doomed to end in failure. Each struggle must self-destruct in a predetermined fashion, from the overdosing celebrity to the Obama administration’s descent into overt radicalism, to justify the learned helplessness of the black community in maintaining the same dysfunctional state of affairs.
The moral of each story is the futility of attempting to move forward in the face of white racism.
The black community is internally divided, but externally maintains a united front, denouncing the corrupt politicians who run their neighborhoods and the thugs who prowl their streets to each other, but rallying behind them against the outside world.
It maintains its own problems and blames them on others. It is racist and never ceases complaining about racism.
What is taking place in Baltimore is about black racism. What continues to be described as white racism is most often the projection of black racism onto white people. It’s an unacknowledged tribal conflict in which millions of black people remain certain that they are being shut out by white people no matter how much affirmative action or special privileges are thrown their way. Their tribalism leads them to apply racial readings to everything from crime cases, like O.J. Simpson to Michael Brown, right up to criticism of Barack Obama. They project their own tribal prejudices onto white people and use them to confirm their worldview. These prejudices are reinforced by the left which assures them that white supremacism, at whatever quantum micro-institutional level, still defines their lives.
There is no hope for race relations except in an end to black racism. White people have done their part. The only way that the black community can ever learn to heal itself is by rejecting racism and taking responsibility for what is good and bad in its neighborhoods. The white devil exists in the heads of black people. If they cannot break their dependency on him, then they will never be free.
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