Thursday, March 12, 2015

Racism and Me

Someone publishes a video of a bunch of drunken frat boys singing a racist song in Oklahoma, and just as sure as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, we are launched into another national conversation on race relations in America. You know it's started in earnest when you see a Jason Whitlock column on the first page of ESPN's website. The only thing that these national conversations lack is honesty, a frank admission of biases, and acknowledgement of the truth. I will do my part to change that with what follows. These are the thoughts and feelings that I battle with in the area of race. I am fully aware that by admitting to them, I run the risk of alienating some of you. Screw it.

1. I despise much of black culture, especially in the entertainment field. I believe that rap lyrics, with its celebration of thugs, objectification of woman, and glorification of violence is a hideous affront to civilization. The fact that so much of white society is trying to co-opt it is an embarrassment.

2. When I watch sporting events on television, almost all of them are dominated by black athletes. After the games, when the players are interviewed it seems that most black players are illiterate. Although athletes as a whole aren't exactly Einsteins, more often than not, black athletes sound as if they have no basic command of the English language. There are exceptions. There are very intelligent black players and many moronic white players, but as a general rule I have a hard time imagining many of these black athletes being able to function in an entry level college class. Thirty years of such post game interviews has instilled within me a generally bad opinion of black intelligence. 

3. Fifty years of the Great Society and its elevation of the power and importance of government as both provider and protector in the black community has baked into the black community a sense of entitlement. The almost complete disappearance of responsible fathers in the black community makes me feel at times that the pathologies that plague the inner city are mostly self-inflicted. Therefore, I generally resent being constantly told that more and more money needs to be thrown into the very same programs that have facilitated such self destructive behavior.

4. With the Pavlovian Dog appearance of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson at every exploitable incident involving race in this country, my reaction is that the black community has the leaders that it deserves. My dislike of these two odious men cannot possibly be sufficiently communicated in mere words. My hatred of them is visceral.

5. There is probably no single segment of America that I loathe more than upper class white fraternity kids. These children of privilege, the kind that appeared in the Oklahoma University video have never in their lives had to work for anything. None of them have had to overcome anything approaching a head wind. And while they sing racist songs demeaning blacks, a quick glance of their iPods would reveal mostly Hip Hop music. Every Saturday in the fall these same punks, dressed in their blue blazers and sundresses and pearls cheer wildly for the Sooners, a team dominated by black athletes.

6. The worst examples of overt racism I have ever witnessed over the years have been provided to me by people I go to church with. This fact has always been painful for me to admit. The fact that racism not only survives but sometimes has thrived within the confines of an establishment dedicated to the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a profound embarrassment. In fairness, the church is also the place where my worst racial instincts have been challenged. It is also the place where I have met some of the most loving people, the people most dedicated to racial justice in word and deed. It is a mystery.

Well, that's a start I suppose. My basic default position on race relations in this country is that blacks have made much more progress here than any other place on the planet, and much more than their leaders are willing to admit, and white people including myself are much more racist than we are comfortable admitting.