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Jerry Shenk


Debunking the Racist Myth

by Jerry Shenk
 

Electing a black president didn't reduce racial tensions in America, because, for some, racial conflict is essential to gaining and maintaining political advantage.

In fact, electing Barack Obama has increased racial tensions, because Americans elected a black man as president rather than a competent, experienced man who is only coincidentally black.

Obama's poor stewardship has angered Americans, but, to evidence of Obama's fecklessness, scandals and constitutional indifference, his sympathizers' most common defense -- distraction, really -- has been to label America a racist nation.

Obama was elected twice, so "racism" isn't credible. More likely, anxious about being judged "racist," voters believed electing a black president would resolve racial tensions, so they ticked off the last box of racial quotas and preferences that, for generations, they've been told minorities must have to reach equality in America.

Seriously, if a black president isn't proof of equal opportunity, what is?

John McWhorter, a brilliant African-American academic, wrote: "[T]he term 'institutional racism'… is more damaging to the black psyche than the n-word... The term encourages blacks to think of society…as actively and reprehensibly racist…

"Equally distracting is the notion that America needs a 'conversation' about race…in which whites submit to a lesson from blacks about so-called institutional racism."

Americans are among the least racist people on earth, but, the American left is heavily invested in perpetuating the notion of institutional racism, the "evidence" for which is grounded in the slander that America's Founders counted blacks as "three-fifths of a man."

A compromise for counting "the whole Number of free Persons" and "three fifths of all other Persons" as population was reached following a 1787 Constitutional Convention debate over determining representation in a federal republic. Slave state delegates wanted all slaves counted to determine proportional representation, but left untaxed as "property." Free state delegates objected to the South's desire to use enslaved non-voters to gain disproportional influence in the new government.

The compromise didn't define slaves as "three-fifths of a man," but it did allow final agreement on an enduring constitutional document — and enabled a path to future emancipation.

Such slanders are evidence that today's "civil rights" movement lacks the moral virtue of Dr. Martin Luther King's dream of a colorblind society, and of how far the movement has fallen since King wrote from a Birmingham jail, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

King proclaimed: "Today, our very survival depends on our ability…to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change."

That's still true, but the roles have reversed. Most white Americans have discarded the personal racist animosities which were socially-proscribed by 1960s Civil Rights legislation.

Today, conservatives — including black conservatives -- believe that individual rights and freedoms ensure legal protections for everyone -- including minorities.

Accordingly, conservatives advocate racial neutrality, while Dr. King's self-appointed "heirs" spoil racial harmony by scandalously hurling inaccurate and unfair racial accusations at America -- and white Americans — to the detriment of the black citizens they claim to represent.


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