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Jerry Shenk


Overplayed the Race Card

by Jerry Shenk
 

Slate magazine: "The Electoral College Is an Instrument of White Supremacy…"

CNN: "Math Is Racist…"

Do you worry that, today, everything is about race? Harvard's Crimson confirmed: "Everything Is About Race."

Sanctimonious, politically-correct doctrinaires insist that "unconscious" or "implicit bias" makes all white people racists. Furthermore, everything is "racist" due to America's "systemic" or "institutional racism."

Those formulations are Articles of Faith for left-wing zealots. But PC inquisitors cannot explain how, precisely, to identify unconscious behavior. If that were possible, and everyone understood the symptoms, people of genuine faith and good will could fight racism together, but, until then, gratuitous, unfounded charges of "racism" remain slanders, and the indignation of innocent victims of such soulless accusations remains righteous.

In fact, the unconscious mind's impenetrability is an essential feature of the left's crusade.

Shelby Steele, distinguished African-American author, historian and Senior Fellow specializing in race relations and affirmative action at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, explains:

"White guilt is not actual guilt. [M]ost whites are not assailed…by feelings of responsibility for America's historical mistreatment of minorities…

"White guilt is not angst over injustices suffered by others; it is the terror of being stigmatized with America's old bigotries — racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. To be stigmatized…with any of these bigotries is to be utterly stripped of moral authority and made into a pariah… White guilt is a mock guilt, a pretense of real guilt, a shallow etiquette of empathy, pity and regret.

"It is also the heart and soul of contemporary liberalism. This liberalism is the politics given to us by white guilt, and it shares white guilt's central corruption. It is not real liberalism, in the classic sense. It is a mock liberalism. Freedom is not its raison d'être; moral authority is."

Indeed, assigning white guilt, or "unconscious bias," is based on the left's cynical assumption that moral authority translates into political power. Steele: "[A]ll the actual guilt in the world would never be enough to support the hegemonic power that the mere pretense of guilt has exercised in American life for the last half-century."

There's a species of (guilty?) white liberals who appear to enjoy labeling themselves "racist," confessing racial biases and condemning "less-enlightened" white people. This annoying practice is known as "virtue signaling" -- a peculiar way of calling attention to one's self-assumed, but unearned moral "superiority."

There are many millions more white people who aren't racist, dislike being called racists and dismiss the left's constant nagging about America's "institutional racism." They have concluded, accurately, that the "Everything Is About Race" crowd uses race as a weapon to silence critics, stifle argument and impose their political will.

A healthy society requires that important policy arguments be fairly and openly conducted and judged on their accuracy, not endless recriminations. Certainly, some animus remains among the races, however the left is far less interested in healing it than in escalating, perpetuating and exploiting race for political gain.

But, it's a loser. Relentlessly overplayed, the race card is no longer trump.

http://www.pottsmerc.com/opinion/20170417/jerry-shenk-overplaying-the-race-card


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