For the last 150 years this country has been on a long strange trip, and the one and only thing that we know about it anymore is that it’s racist.
Racism has become an indisputable fact of the universe. When everything else is in doubt, racism isn’t. It can’t be. It’s become the anti-weather, the thing we discuss because everyone knows that it exists and everyone knows that everyone is racist.
America is racist. Just look at Segregation, the Trail of Tears, and whatever happened last week that is already being analyzed on Salon, broken down at Atlantic Wire, trending on Twitter, spun on Think Progress, and then chewed and digested by the slower eaters on CNN, MSNBC and the surviving outposts of the print media.
Everyone and everything is racist. When the racism microscope is turned on or a racism signal is beamed to the giant orbiting racism satellite launched last week by that fortress of white extraterrestrial privilege, NASA, or a special racism submersible is dropped into the ocean, their enhanced analytical powers reveal that racism is everywhere in America.
That may seem unlikely to anyone who actually travels to any of the places in the world that still have slavery. They are much less concerned with media images of black people over in Mauritania, which still has slavery. There’s not a lot of interest in white privilege over in Sudan, where actual genocide is still taking place. And if you get a chance, stop by Papua, where Obama’s friendly Indonesian step-folks are still killing black people.
But that’s actual racism. We don’t have real racism. What we have are cashiers writing insulting things on receipts, landlords who occasionally prefer not to rent to black people, and the occasional drunken idiot who starts shouting slurs at a black man. It’s not exactly up there with genocide, but fortunately the racism industry has supplemented it by denouncing every movie and television show ever made and every police or even non-police shooting involving a black man as racist.
A hundred years ago educated people subjected themselves to psychoanalysis sessions which proved conclusively that their fear of heights was caused by wanting to kill their fathers and rape their mothers. And if you didn’t dabble in some amateurish psychoanalysis, the intellectual elites of New York or Chicago wouldn’t even bother sneering in your direction.
These days racism is the new psychoanalysis. Educated people check their privilege and discover that they are the reincarnation of Simon Legree. They are horrified to find that they take it for granted that people in movies look like them and talk like them. They gasp as they realize that they actually manage to get through the day without thinking about race, and weep in shame as they are told that black people are constantly thinking about race, and their failure to do the same thing is a form of privilege that makes them no better than Jefferson Davis or Archie Bunker.
Black people don’t actually spend all their time being racially conscious, much as factory workers in the 19th century didn’t actually go around being class conscious all the time. That was just one of the things that Marxists successfully convinced the eagerly guilty elites of. About the only people who do spend all their time viewing everything through a toxic prism of race are MSNBC analysts, and like prostitutes and people who test dangerous cosmetics on rabbits, they only do it because they’re paid to.
Our search for racism has become an inner spiritual search for the racist within. The new racism is an unawareness of racism, which says all that there is to say about the prevalence of this terrible threat. When the biggest issue with racism is that not enough people are constantly thinking about it, then the real problem is that there isn’t a problem.
That candidly sums up the state of American racism, which is a problem searching for a problem. But that is different than the state of American race relations, which is characterized by suspicion, irritation, guilt, and occasional explosions carefully stirred up and set off by an entire field of professional provocateurs in academia and the media.
One of the greater fallacies of racism is to assume that it equates to race relations. It does not. The problem of racism involved the way that governments and people behaved toward each other. That’s different than how people see each other. That form of racism, like the monsters that began pouring out of the brains of patients lying cushioned on the psychoanalyst’s couch, is not something that we can or should be dealing with.
If we look back at the countries that we all came from, we find that once upon a time we all hated each other. The English, the Irish and the Welsh, the Spanish and the Portuguese, the Norwegians and the Swedes, the French and, well, everyone else. And turning east, the Chinese and the Japanese, and over to Africa, where no one got along, resulting in slavery, and where no one still gets along, resulting in genocide.
Some of these differences were smoothed over by the melting pot. Some weren’t. It might be nice if these things went away, but we can’t make them go away without also making our histories and identities go away too.
For example, making black racism go away would require removing slavery and the civil rights movement from their history. That’s not a price that they’re willing to pay and with good reason. Everyone has their histories, their identities and their resentments. Those things are part of them. They explain how they got there, and who ripped them off along the way, and what scores need to be settled in some still undetermined future. It’s not a problem so long as those scores aren’t being settled on a street corner right now.
As multicultural countries go, we’re doing pretty well. Especially compared to Africa, where relatively minor differences between people that we would all lump together as African-American result in genocide. We’re also doing pretty well compared to the histories of the English and the Irish, or the Jews and the Russians, and the endless number of similar ethnic historical time tombs in our backgrounds.
America works pretty well when it comes to the unofficial form of race-relations that involves people working and living together without killing each other. It would work even better without a racism industry whose entire reason for existence is to turn racism into the thing that we should always be talking about and always be conscious of at any time of the day.
Racial consciousness is grievance consciousness. Take any members of two ethnic groups with an ugly history and tell them that they constantly need to think about those old grudges and discover how those grudges lead to them being mistreated in the present and you would have the same perfect storm of outraged entitlement, racial paranoia, and grievance theater that you do when it comes to race relations.
America does not have a racism problem. It has a problem obsessing about racism. The obsession isn’t black or white, it comes out of the ranks of academics and activists who use it to disrupt society while profiting from the havoc. The Trayvon Martin case is only one of countless cases dug up and deployed by the racism industry to maintain this perpetual consciousness of grievance at the expense of social harmony.
Grievances don’t go away when you constantly demand an absolute justice that no human being is equipped to provide. They go away when you let go of the grievances and try to live together. It may seem easier for white people to say that, but reducing the complex mix of identities and histories of the vast majority of the population, many with their own histories of oppression, to “white people” is exactly the kind of facile unthinking bigotry that the racism industry cultivates.
Everyone has their history of being oppressed and discriminated against, either here or in their home country. Not everyone is still conscious of these grievances and these grudges. And that’s a good thing and a bad thing. A little consciousness of their own history by the descendants of Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant immigrants would prevent them from grasping at senseless post-racial shibboleths like White Privilege.
Forgetting isn’t a privilege. Black people know that. When you forget, then you no longer know who you are. But there’s a fine line between forgetting and hating. There’s a difference between knowing your own history and insisting on overlaying it completely over the present because you lack the tools for dealing with the present.
America is a second chance. Not a place to forget who you are, but a place to discover who you might have become without that historical boot on your chest. That’s not what it always was, but that’s what it is today. It suffers from social dysfunction, but it is probably the least racist place in the world. Like its technological and cultural achievements, this social achievement is buried under a million tons of hate, denial and venom from a left that exists only to undermine America.
There is no bright future waiting for those who choose to become collaborators in fulfilling the self-fulfilling prophecies of the Anti-American left. The very cynicism and pessimism embodied in that worldview, the certainty of failure implicit in its obsession with racial consciousness, is pregnant with their doom. The morass of Detroit, the miasma of Newark, and the wreck of Oakland isn’t the labor of white racism; it’s that same self-fulfilling prophecy that too many in the black community have chosen to collaborate in bringing about.
Faith in nothing but the power of racism leads to a hopeless future.
[Editor’s note: this article first appeared at Sultan Knish.]