A Republican neighbor is currently very upset that public schools may start teaching “Critical Race Theory” (CRT), which argues that white supremacy is tightly maintained and supported by America’s legal structure. While I respect her fear, this is not news.
It’s been almost twenty years, since I was required to attend a half-day class on “The 800-lb Gorilla” in Washington, D.C. Although I didn’t know it then, the course was the precursor for CRT.
Like Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, where each person admits “I am an alcoholic” before speaking, our instructor asked if we would admit “I am a racist” before speaking. You see, there is no such thing as non-racists. There are only racists and anti-racists. If you are not actively working to end racism, then you are automatically a racist. If you didn’t say anti-racist, then you were a racist. It went downhill after that.
One of my classmates made the mistake of wearing a Rolex President wrist watch. He was informed that he didn’t deserve that watch and wearing it actually proved that he was a beneficiary of “white privilege”. Nobody denied we had benefited from having white skin, but nobody felt personal guilt about that. The instructor told my classmate he should be ashamed, because he could not have earned that watch without the suffering of blacks. If confession is good for the soul inside a church, it must also be equally good for the soul outside a church! Huh?
When she told us that America was built primarily on racism, she lost credibility with me. Certainly, racism existed in 1776, but it is unreasonable to assume our national strength was based solely on that. Is greatness without racism not possible? Have all great countries had racism? Just because other countries have minorities, that doesn’t mean the country is racist. Racism is not a prerequisite to greatness. Since I was offended by that, she would surely have claimed it was proof of my “white fragility” or fear of discussing race. Maybe, it is just boredom with discussing race? There is more than one interesting subject in the world to discuss. How much is enough?
Certainly, diplomacy is better than warfare, but at what point does further discussion become pointless? An article in The Wall Street Journal this week noted that many large companies have online message boards and forums on issues employees care about. However, some of those companies are now beginning to limit internal discussion on certain issues by employees, as the message boards and forum have become heated enough to cause conflict, hurting productivity. The Red/Blue chasm is hurting business.
My father taught me to never discuss politics or religion . . . good advice . . . but what isn’t political these days?