"White Racial Consciousness" as a Dangerous Progressive Project

|

I have come across all sorts of interesting and sometimes distressing things while researching my forthcoming book, Classified: The Untold Story of Racial Classifications in America. My conclusion discusses the fact that classifying people by race increases their tendency to identify with that race. I googled around to look for writing on that topic, and I discovered that if one googles "white racial consciousness" you will find many articles praising it and encouraging more of it–the vast majority not from right-wing white nationalists, but from progressive academics, who somehow think this is a good thing that leads to positive social outcomes. The idea seems to be that if you make people  more conscious of their whiteness, they will recognize their white privilege, and this will lead them to be allies in the cause of anti-racism.

I suppose this should not come as a shock. Back in 1991, I saw the late Professor Derrick Bell, a well-known Critical Race Theorist from Harvard Law School, talk about how proud he was that he got his students, including a specific Jewish woman, who did not think of themselves as white, to recognize and become much more conscious of their whiteness.

What strikes me about this literature is how it ignores what seems to me to be the obvious dangers of encouraging a majority of the population to emphasize and internalize a racial identity, and, moreover, to think of themselves as having racial interests opposed to those of the non-white population. I mean, what could go wrong? It would be one thing to note the obvious dangers of increased ethnonationalism, racial conflict, and so on, and explain why the author believes the risk-reward ratio is favorable. But the literature I came across (which admittedly is not comprehensive), the possibility that this could backfire is simply ignored.

NEXT: Today in Supreme Court History: October 2, 1967

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I discovered that if one googles “white racial consciousness”

    Did you try a less biased search engine as well?

    1. “Googles” has become generic, like “Kleenex”.

      1. You really think he might have used DuckDuckGo or Bing?

        Or is a stuck-in-the-box guy?

    2. Using inferior technology due to disagreement with the politics of various tech firms is something you *can* do, but maybe not something you *should* do…

  2. So ethnonationalism is a bad thing is it?

    1. I’d like to know if it’s only white that he’s ever worried about.

      I’m not all that enthused about whites, but people who lower-case that and upper-case Blacks push me into opposition.

      1. … I see in his description, ” He is the author of Rehabilitating Lochner: Defending Individual Rights against Progressive Reform (University of Chicago Press) and Only One Place of Redress: African Americans, Labor Regulations, and the Courts from Reconstruction to the New Deal (Duke University Press).” Are any of these on point?

    2. Yeah, It is

      Nationalism was Invented to END Tribalism

      that nonsense was invented to circumvent the Inventions Purpose

      Morons need Tribalism to feel connected, as Morons are the Cancer of Our Society it really is time to comprehend that Morons and a Civilised Society cannot exist together, that’s WHY Institutions for the Retarded were INVENTED, to Separate the Moron from Man

      All this is IS the Morons Rebelling Against the Reality that they don’t get to Win – EVER, it truly IS Against the Laws of Nature for that to Occur, Civilization will die first and then the Cave Man World will EAT the Morons out of existence within a decade

      Morons are NOT a Naturally Occurring Organism, they ARE an Invention of Imperialism , Forced inbreeding thru laws against travel throughout Europe for 3 thousand years did a lot of damage, read up on how the Greeks invented little 4 mile square Progroms I believe they were called, or somehting along there

      Slavery was Invented to USE those that were Put to Death Before for Possession and the such, the Slave Pits of Egypt were used to dry out Drug Psychosist individuals and Lunatics

      Most don’t realize that if you don’t let a Loon make believe for a Month most get better, and Docs won’t admit that because then that means they are useless, Constant work, no time for thought and just enough time for sleep Heals Lunacy

      Stupid thought causes bad Brain Chemistry, not the Other Way Around the Pharm Bois Like to pretend for a great Profit

  3. Progressives are bubble people.

    They are extraordinarily good at surrounding themselves with group thinking comrades and pretending that life doesn’t exist outside the bubble;

    1. I assume that this comment is intended to be ironic.

      1. I live in the blue bubble of Austin, Texas, so decades of personal experience with the topic.

        1. And I live in NYC.

          My point – evidently lost on you – is that you are commenting in your own bubble, speaking about other bubble people in a way that only other people in your bubble are likely to find sympathetic.

          1. Most studies have found that conservatives are able to explain progressive ideology fairly well while progressives are not nearly as capable of explaining conservative ideology. So there seems to be something to it.

            1. “Most studies”

              I’ve seen Haidt claim to show this, who else has?

              1. Are you suggesting Haidt doesn’t show his work or admitting that you haven’t looked?

          2. Simon. NY’ers are more provincial and isolated than the residents of the deepest holler of Kentucky. They are pathetic in their ignorance of the outside world.

    2. The Articles this Bozo Refers to where meant for the INTELLIGENT, Not the Common Moron

      Pretending the Common Morons thoughts can Possibly be of Importance is why the World is in the shape it’s in

      Every Problem on the Planet is MADE by Morons pretending they can be important, letting Idiots forget their Place IS the ONLY real Problem on the Planet

      Idiots don’t get to lead- EVER!

  4. These very prog, Trump-hating very white friends of ours were determined to keep their kid in the local public school until the other day when he came home after being beaten up pretty badly. The school is majority minority and they’ve also pulled out the school cops bc of BLM. The parents are now scrambling to find a private school. But is they were good white progs, they would keep their kid at the public school and let him continue to get his butt kicked to pay for the sin of his skin color.

    1. You’re a peach. Do these “friends” of yours know you think about them this way?

      1. I can be friends with someone I disagree with. How about you, Simon?

        1. Sure. But I don’t tend to describe them as self-parodies, using terms like “prog.” You don’t seem to merely disagree with these people. It seems you actively dislike them on some level.

          1. Perhaps he dislikes something about his friends without rejecting their total humanity.

            I have very progressive friends who I really like. I trust them, share with them, and rely on them in my personal life. And I vehemently hate some, not all, of their ideas as vestiges of evil philosophies. But I also know that, more importantly, they are more than that.

            And they know this.

    2. I absolutely believe NoVaNick’s secondhand anecdote. It sounds entirely credible.

      1. I believe the deprecation of the concept friend is at the root of much trouble. Thanks defaced boogers.

        I have embraced the entirety of my ‘deplorableness’ and learned to love my fellow ‘basket’ neighbors. Hail Victory. Hail Victory. Hail Victory.

        1. Only having friends you agree with seems the opposite of how to create a healthy community.

          1. Hence the religious nature of politics. If they do not listen, shake the dust off your sandals and depart.

            1. If you can’t hang out with someone with a different faith than your own, that’s also a problem you have.

              Also, Ideology is not religion. Religion acknowledges faith does not come from real world observation. Ideology does.

  5. Am I supposed to be surprised by any of this? Or surprised that the author does not know how pernicious racialism actually is?

    1. Which author? If you mean Prof. Bernstein — he knows; he just wrote a book about it.

      1. Yes, Prof. Bernstein. This article makes him appear surprised at the outcome of his own research into this subject. Now that you mention the book, I want to look it up.

      2. He wrote a book on racialism?

        Reason lists:
        Rehabilitating Lochner: Defending Individual Rights against Progressive Reform
        Only One Place of Redress: African Americans, Labor Regulations, and the Courts from Reconstruction to the New Deal

        Is the book you are talking about not listed?

        1. Come on guys, the very first sentence of the blog post: “I have come across all sorts of interesting and sometimes distressing things while researching my forthcoming book, Classified: The Untold Story of Racial Classifications in America.”

          1. And NOW you know why you should disregard most of what these fools preach

            they simply don’t know how to read and retain, which makes reading the same comic book over and over again entertaining but really sucks for getting information from Text Books

            Pretending that Morons can Compete Intellectually is why the World is in the Situation it’s In

  6. Yeah, I mean, I dunno, David, maybe we should worry about how a niche, academic way of thinking about whiteness could possibly backfire, or be used inappropriately, in a way that would inspire within its students an increased sense of race-loyalty.

    But personally it seems to me that FoxNews doesn’t need an ounce of academic theory on the social construct of race in order to warn its viewers that immigrants are coming to “replace” them, to encourage rhetoric about “cultural marxism,” or indeed to mischaracterize any real attempts to reconcile race relations as “critical race theory” that must be banned legislatively.

    1. Yep. Fox News is the problem here. The progressive racists are a-ok. Racism isn’t a problem when it’s your team practicing it.

      1. There is such a thing as “progressive racism,” but it’s not “actively trying to do something about racism.” It tends to look more like traditional racism, with a veneer of sensitivity training. Here in NYC, it tends to come out whenever you get Manhattanites debating where the next homeless shelter should go, which schools to send their kids to, or what to do about those delivery cyclists.

        1. The people supposedly “trying to do something about racism” these days frequently engage in it themselves. Some of the extremes of CRT are extremely racist. Kendi and his crap is openly racist, as is Robin what’s-her-name.

          And, as you point out, a lot of the anti -immigration stuff is too. The attitude of Republican politicians recently toward the Afghans that helped us is appalling.

          1. Clearly you’re well versed in the body of work of Robin what’s-her-name…

            1. I didn’t want to look up the correct spelling because she’s not worth the problem. I know her fucking name.

              Way to dispute my point with substance. Or perhaps you recognize that she’s racist AF.

              Or more likely you’re just being you – arguing for the sake of arguing.

              1. I try not to opine on the work of those whose names I don’t know, YMMV.

                My point is I doubt you, along with most critics of CRT, know much about that work outside of what hostile secondary sources have presented to you/them.

                1. I know her name, I didn’t know the spelling. Doesn’t change the fact that she’s a racist piece of shit.

                  1. Again, I think people who can’t recall someone’s name might be also lacking enough information of the context of their complete work to determine they are a ‘racist piece of shit, but, again, YMMV.

                    1. No more. You’re racist garbage.

                    2. I’m racist garbage because I think a person who can’t recall a scholar’s name judging that scholar to be a ‘racist piece of shit’ is wrong? Wow, you’ve got a funny definition of what’s racist!

                    3. Any time you emit the words “I think” your nose grows.

                      My secondary sources on the What’s-her-name grifter quote her and no one has to remember her worthless name (R. D’Angelo, as I recall) to remember how repulsive her “work” is.

          2. “The Afghans that helped us” is a myth. We have no idea who we are shipping in.

            1. Yeah, we do.

        2. Yes, and its also NY city progressive racism to send Black and Brown people to jail for merely exercising their 2nd amendment rights. Conduct that needs no government license or permission in most states will land you in Jail for years in New York. For instance taking your handgun with you when you move from FL to NY, and keeping it unloaded in a locked safe will get you an almost 2 years in jail.

          And an overwhelming majority of those in prison for simple exercises of constitutional rights like that are minorities.

      2. I’d say Tucker Carlson reaches a bigger audience than ‘Critical Race Theory’ (in fact more people probably know the latter via the former).

        1. I’d say that Kendi and DiAngelo have sold more books than Carlson’s show typically has viewers.

          1. Carlson gets about 3M, last I heard. I’d say that Kendi and DiAngelo don’t approach that many readers on any particular day, which seems like a more relevant comparison.

            QA isn’t making any cogent point anyway if you don’t smell that she’s implying that Carlson is a racist like those two are.

    2. Ooooo, Fox News.

      The most dangerous and oppressive cities for minorities are the Deep Blue progressive paradises.

      1. We could have a whole discussion about the complex issues affecting minorities living in blue cities – how they themselves are frustrated by crime and by the ways that racist and incompetent politicians and police forces let them down. But that’s a distracting tangent that would be above your head anyway.

        More to the point – yes, this is another of FoxNews’ racist talking points that they are able to articulate without any explicit theory explaining what they’re doing.

      2. “The most dangerous and oppressive cities for minorities are the Deep Blue progressive paradises.”

        How do you figure?

        1. Have you ever compared urban crime rates to which party is in control, and has been for decades?

          1. Urban crime rates are higher most everywhere in the world (even where there are no Democrats).

            1. Nice excuse for not looking the problem in the eye.

            2. Most everywhere in the world there are few (D) since, strictly speaking, they infest the US almost exclusively. WITHIN the US the crime-rate pits are generally misgoverned long-term by (D)’s. I can’t think of an exception.

              Correlation is not causation, of course. But it probably has an element of causation, given that (D)s are so obviously loons on the subject.

              1. Every time I read Volokh there’s a new stupidest post.

                “Correlation is not causation, but I’ve noticed that whenever there’s a school shooting, it’s by someone with a gun.”

            3. Good God what Morons

              the NUMBERS are higher because there ARE more people per square Mile – Math is your Friend!

              the PERCENTAGE Rates don’t make your case, quite usually small towns percentage are MUCH higher simply because there aren’t that many people there

              real simple, a town of 500 people and one murder, that’s a 1 to 500 Ratio

              in a City where you have millions of people, the murder rate will be around the 1 to 10,000 Ratio

              People commit crimes, Political Philosophies don’t

              1. If political philosophies don’t commit crimes, where do genocides come from?

                Anyway, Urban and
                Rural Crime

                In fact, it’s not perfectly straightforward, metropolitan centers are worse for some crimes than smaller, non-metropolitan cities are, better for others. Generally, the larger cities are worse for violent crime, the smaller for property crime.

                But cities in general are systematically worse than rural areas for basically all sorts of crime, with a very slight exception for household burglary.

        2. QA the paid troll is in “cite” and “lol” mode and cannot be bothered with facts, logic, data, reason, or anything resembling normal discourse.

          1. Back to one sentence. Poor buckie.

        3. Where did George Floyd die?

          1. Where did Breonna Taylor?

            Silly answer.

            1. Thank you for bringing up Louisville, Kentucky, where “The Metro Council…is chaired by a Council President, currently David Yates (D), who is elected by the council members annually. Democrats currently have a 17-to-9 majority.”

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisville,_Kentucky

              1. Lol, but there’s this whole state thing, right? Kentucky city, blue paradise?

                1. According to Wikipedia, the cops who shot here were with the Louisville Metro Police Department.

            2. Breonna Taylor the gun moll and drug conduit? Louisville, KY.
              Last GOP Mayor was in ’69. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mayors_of_Louisville,_Kentucky

    3. “But personally it seems to me that FoxNews doesn’t need an ounce of academic theory on the social construct of race in order to warn its viewers that immigrants are coming to “replace” them”

      FoxNews? Your fellow travelers in VC’s comments have not only acknowledged this reality, but openly gloated about it. Paging Rev. Kirkland.

      1. I do not contend that our society’s lesser elements will be replaced by immigrants.

        The replacement to which I refer occurs when old-timey conservatives take their stale, ugly, bigoted thinking to the grave in the natural course, and are replaced by better and younger Americans in our electorate and society.

        1. Artie, I am referring to replacing a white, old Boomer with a vibrant, young diverse. You need to go. Diversity is the strength of our country.

        2. “lesser elements”

          The proto fascist bigot in his natural habitat.

        3. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
          Waste of brain cells warning
          ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
          For any one reading the above, Kookland is performing his weird trick of “footnoting” his assertions with a music video. Twice, I didn’t follow them, but hovering over them shows “youtube”. So there’s no need to click on it.

          1. I am attempting to bring some culture and joy to a relentlessly bitter, cranky, disaffected, separatist blog.

            1. When Trump was threatening to win, lots of people were blowing hot air about their states quitting the union.

              Bith sides do it. Both are idiots. The larger world of evil would like nothing better than semi-coordinated states unable to stop China from ruling the high seas.

              1. Not unless you nutpick really hard.

                Secession is very might a right-wing thing. Has been for the past 150 years.

  7. Raising white racial consciousness is inevitable. Identity politics is what holds the Democrat Party together, and they alienate straight white males at every opportunity. When every political issue is all about who is white and who is non-white, we will have to have more white racial consciousness.

    1. It’s not just white vs non-white.

      Progressive racial identity politics have resulted in increasing attacks upon Asians and Jews, disproportionately by black attackers. When will progressives own up to this?

      1. I’ll “own up to it.”

        You haven’t exactly explained, though, how identity politics would lead to hate crimes by black attackers. These attacks seem to be fueled by the same kind of ignorance and conspiracies that the right traffics in.

        Like – I am not blaming Russia for this, but their attacks on our election have focused partly on this dynamic, exploiting the information networks in which black users participate. Black people are getting and circulating misinformation, too. They’re not attacking Asians because they’re “woke” or whatever.

        1. Black Russians?

        2. The idea that the black criminals are learning to hate, say, Asians and Hasidim online from Russians is pure cross-eyed foaming lunacy.

        3. “You haven’t exactly explained, though, how identity politics would lead to hate crimes by black attackers.”

          You can’t see how teaching blacks that whites as a group are guilty of doing them wrong, with no individual guilt or innocence, could lead to blacks hating whites?

    2. “they alienate straight white males at every opportunity”

      Good point — if you refer to the poorly educated, economically inadequate, roundly bigoted, superstitious, disaffected “straight white males” who love a White, male, stale-thinking, right-wing blog.

      1. Artie. Time to go, Boomer. You need to be replaced at your job by a diverse.

      2. Ah further bigotry examples from Artie. Good show.

      3. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
        Waste of brain cells warning
        ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
        For any one reading the above, Kookland is performing his weird trick of “footnoting” his assertions with a music video. I didn’t follow it, but hovering over it shows “youtube”. So there’s no need to click on it.

    3. “Identity politics is what holds the Democrat Party together”

      This is like any partisan blaming the other party for ‘pandering to their base.’ Politics in general is soaking in ‘identity politics’ historically and sociologically.

      1. So the ethno-nationalism of 30s and 40s Germany is no big deal… it was just one party pandering to its base. Nothing to see here… only rubes would be worried about it. Move along.

      2. Funny, the “base” of the (D) wasn’t always so “diverse”, with so few white males. If all it’s doing is pandering to its base how does that happen, exactly?

    4. R’s and D’s both want race wars; they need race wars to hold their bases together

      1. Don’t conflate attack with defence.

      2. The circumstances of party built on a foundation of stale thinking, diffuse bigotry, and old-timey superstition are different from that of a party built on reason, progress, education, modernity, and inclusiveness.

        You’re on the wrong side of history, Don Nico. Stand aside and let better Americans continue to handle the shaping of our continuing and glorious national progress.

  8. ” the obvious dangers of encouraging a majority of the population to emphasize and internalize a racial identity ”

    Relax, professor . . . that group will not constitute a majority much longer. America’s future is less White, less religious, less rural, less bigoted, and less backward.

    Republicans, conservatives, clingers, and faux libertarians hardest hit.

    1. And yet of course bigot Artie doesn’t pay much attention to what Black and Latino voters are thinking and saying. It’s not good for democrats. Not at all.

    2. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
      Waste of brain cells warning
      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
      For any one reading the above, Kookland is performing his weird trick of “footnoting” his assertions with a music video. I didn’t follow it, but hovering over it shows “youtube”. So there’s no need to click on it.

      In fact there’s hardly any reason to read him at all, since his message is always that we’re all losers and will die, die, die.
      zzzzzzzz….

    3. that group will not constitute a majority much longer.

      False. (Note: an actual link, not a trolling YouTube one.)

      1. That article describes racial blending — hardly what the White nationalists and unreconstructed bigots of the current Republican Party want to hear about America’s future.

        1. But also not what the racial essentialists of the left want to hear.

          1. Those folks mostly want less undeserved White privilege, less conservative White nationalism, and less stale White bigotry.

            And they are going to get it, in part because the population will be less White and in part because the liberal-libertarian victory in the culture war has nice consequences.

  9. But the literature I came across (which admittedly is not comprehensive), the possibility that this could backfire is simply ignored.

    There is no “possibility”, it’s a present reality. The backlash is called the “red pill”, and once you take it, you can see the manipulation and lying that works behind the scenes to fool people.

    I heard a commentator on TV last night who said that the Illiberals were commandeering the history of Blacks in the US, exploiting the pain and trauma of their experience to change society.

    1. From what you say, I guess that pill works like a religious conversion.

      1. There is something to that. There does seem to be a sort of “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” effect on those who go down that path. It is an awakening.

    2. Mrs. Krabappel and Principal Skinner were in the closet making babies and I saw one of the babies and the baby looked at me!

        1. Good reply, Ralph!

    3. Separate from the Red Pill backlash, I am seeing more “white racial consciousness” rising, especially in reference to Eastern European, ancient Greek, Roman, Celtic, and Viking culture. While previously these groups were relatively separated (aside from Greek/Roman of course), they seem to be coming together as a block due to being openly and repeatedly castigated by certain groups. We’ve been told since childhood that we don’t have our own culture and I’ve been told to my face that all music and dance was stolen from minorities. Being confronted with that, who wouldn’t fall back onto their own heritage?

  10. One thing seems for sure, post about race get the attention around here. Platinum debt coins, free exercise, pfft. Let’s talk about how people are mean to white people!

    1. Because it’s impossible to be racist toward white people, amiright?

      1. My goodness your white fragility is like the bones of that bad guy in the Unbreakable series.

        1. “White fragility”. What a load of horseshit.

          Attributing bad characteristics to someone based solely on their race…..let’s see, there’s a name for people who do that. Isn’t there? Oh, yeah, they’re bigots.

          And assuming what my race is based on your preconceived opinion. What’s that called? You have no idea what race I am.

          1. I’m attributing white fragility to you not based on your race but on the way you’re so easily triggered by discussions of race. No one here was talking about only white people can be racist, you just leaped to that.

            1. Paid troll uses fake expressions like “white fragility” as if that’s a real term.

              1. Angry teenager is mad at what he doesn’t understand!

                1. Does this White, male, conservative blog generate old-timey White bigots . . . or merely attract them?

        2. “My goodness your white fragility…”

          You think white fragility is different than black fragility or asian fragility? What a bigot.

    2. I think you may be missing the point. This isn’t about how someone might be “mean to white people”, it’s about an effort to consciously and forcefully condition people to think in terms of race. It’s racialist, an intentional highlighting of racial differences.

      1. It would be more precise to say that they want people to stop ignoring and see how history and society is shaped in terms of race.

        1. No, it is not nearly as benign as you make it out to be. This is about being race conscious, not merely being aware of historical facts. It’s a “race FIRST” framing.

          1. Being aware of historical facts would be to be aware of the pervasive race consciousness throughout.

          2. And…
            If it were only about the past then it would not have active calls for doing things and treating people based solely on race in the hear and now. Being racist right now, even in the name of anti-racism, is neither historical nor is it not racist.

            This seems to be lost on some people. The only explanation is abject stupidity of the highest order or malicious dishonesty.

            1. Sparkstable, there is another explanation. Experience. Your comment sounds like not much first-hand experience talking. There are at least a few commenters here who remember Jim Crow when it was full strength. That gives them a standard of comparison, to judge how much Jim Crow has diminished. Less than you seem to think.

              It is natural, of course, for someone who experienced hostility-inflected evasions from Jim Crow supporters, to wonder about someone today, whose present-day approach to racism also runs to hostility-inflicted evasions. It seems so familiar. Do you suppose you could do better?

              1. The thinly-veiled allegation SL makes is that sparkstable’s “present-day approach to racism… runs to hostility-inflicted evasions.” Which one might be able to debunk if one could figure out what a “hostility-inflicted evasion” was, beyond a way of saying “You racist!”.

                1. Gandydancer, here it is. Go ahead and debunk this:

                  Being racist right now, even in the name of anti-racism, is neither historical nor is it not racist.

                  This seems to be lost on some people. The only explanation is abject stupidity of the highest order or malicious dishonesty.

                  But I will give you this, my attempt to type, “hostility-inflected,” seems to have auto-corrected to, “hostility-inflicted.” Maybe that made it confusing.

              2. QA’s quote:
                “It would be more precise to say that they want people to stop ignoring and see how history and society is shaped in terms of race.”

                My response is that the current activity of rase-based laws is not the same as learning about history. One is current cases of current racism against current people. The other is realizing that racism played a, sadly, large role in our country’s past. However, that things happened in the past do not serve as justification for repeating those things in the here-and-now against people who did not perpetuate that and are, instead, current racist actions that, for some reason, a bunch of people refuse to admit are in fact racist. DESPITE THE FACT that they are explicitly calling for discrimination (Kendi for example).

                1. However, that things happened in the past do not serve as justification for repeating those things in the here-and-now against people who did not perpetuate that and are, instead, current racist actions that, for some reason, a bunch of people refuse to admit are in fact racist.

                  Sparkstable, that is the tiresome “anti-racists are the real racists,” dodge. Give it some thought. Suppose it is legitimate. Does that mean that people who say, “anti-racists are the real racists,” are not racists? No, on its face it tells us nothing about whether they are racist or not. What it does by implication is more troublesome.

                  What are we to make of someone who says, “. . . that things happened in the past do not serve as justification for repeating those things in the here-and-now?” That is at best a history-blind conflation of the horrendous reality of Jim Crow, with flawed-but-far-from-horrendous present-day attempts to ameliorate by policy the continuing effects of racism, past and present.

                  That conflation by itself is inexcusable, except as historical ignorance. It is a line of thinking devoid of sympathy for the continuing plight of millions of American Blacks—conditions they suffer consequent to Jim Crow, and consequent to continued racist attacks, which remain commonplace.

                  Those attacks include self-serving, racially-motivated complaints about anti-racist policies—complaints which rely equally on the kind of racial distinctions that your own comment pretends to deplore. Your comment discloses that you think whites as a race are suffering systematically, and that you value that method of argument as a means to advantage systematically people of your own race. You want to end anti-racist policies because you think they burden whites as a race, and that whites as a race will be better off without those policies. Not a good look for someone self-avowedly rejecting racially-based policy making.

                  Worse, the thought that anti-racist polices might advantage whites, by giving them an opportunity to live in a less-racist society never occurs to you. Apparently, you set at zero the value of a racism-free society, however aspirational.

                  As someone who grew up in the South, during the final years of full-strength Jim Crow discrimination against Blacks, I wish I had the skills to persuade you how far off the mark it is to think that way. But your own lack of historical insight—and present-day sympathy—makes the prospect of persuasion too daunting. You simply know too little, and, paradoxically, permit yourself too much self-serving racially-based concern, to allow me to think any attempt I could make to reach you could get through. So I am writing this for bystanders, not for you.

                  I will conclude by saying this: It has not been easy for me as a white male to manage a life and career lived all-but-entirely during a many-decades-long era of mismanaged affirmative action, and blundering government attempts to fix problems no one ever much bothered to define, let alone analyze critically. There have been all kinds of unfair impositions, inflicted especially on low-status white males (which I am not), and too few impositions on high-status people of both sexes (among whom I also am not).

                  I understand and sympathize with the dismay all that has engendered. But unlike younger American males like you, who complain so vociferously, I also lived among people who experienced, and sometimes perpetrated, America’s racial problem when it was notably worse. Compared to that—and bad as they sometimes have been—those programs to ameliorate racism’s effects have done a world of good—so much good that they apparently gave you space to ignore how much is left to do.

                  Because age and previous circumstance gives me access to a deeper, more-troubled past, I do not enjoy any such refuge. Too much in the present goads and periodically renews those memories.

                  While I think back, I take it as one of the great consolations of my life that I live now in a society that, however precariously, enjoys a a measure of relief from that horrendous past. But I also see clearly that any present celebration must remain muted, because far too much remains to be done. For that reason, I urge you to turn your attention to improving anti-racism, if you find it faulty, instead of rejecting it.

              3. ” There are at least a few commenters here who remember Jim Crow when it was full strength. That gives them a standard of comparison, to judge how much Jim Crow has diminished. Less than you seem to think.”

                Are you mad? I think you must be. I live in South Carolina, near Greenville. The most racist person I’ve met was this nice black lady who was starting into Alzheimer’s and had lost her filters. (David Duke would have been ashamed to talk the way she did.) I see black and white children playing together, inter-racial couples all over the place. BLM came through town and they couldn’t even get people worked up enough to riot.

                I think some people look back at Jim Crow, and the early civil rights movement, and wish they could be part of something like that, have some horrible evil to fight the good fight against.

                So they pretend there’s one.

                1. Yeah, Brett, I’m pretty sure everyone knows by now that South Carolina has become a racial harmony paradise. But the places I have in mind are more troubled, like Massachusetts, or metaphorical places, like the VC.

                2. Brett, no evil in being able to sort out the net worth of various infant’s families just by looking at them in the hospital nursery?

        2. It would be more precise to say that they want people to stop ignoring and see how history and society is shaped in terms of race.

          That would be neither precise nor accurate.

          They want white people to “admit” that all of the world’s problems are because of white people. And that anything good that a white person has every gotten has been because they’re “privileged”, came at the expense of non-white people, and was totally un-earned.

          Fuck off, racist moron.

  11. “I saw the late Professor Derrick Bell, a well-known Critical Race Theorist from Harvard Law School, talk about how proud he was that he got his students, including a specific Jewish woman, who did not think of themselves as white, to recognize and become much more conscious of their whiteness.”

    I’d bet dollars to donuts a motivation of DB’s (like JB’s I’d bet too) is that this kind of thing threatens to in their perception threaten to disadvantage Jews in the ‘Oppression Olympics’ by ‘shifting’ them into the ‘white oppressor’ category.

    1. They’re right to worry about it if they truly are. You racialists had to shift the Asians to disadvantage them. Ought to work for the Jews as well, huh?

      1. On what grounds do you call me a ‘racialist?’ Because I sometimes defend ‘CRT’ or BLM against dumb attacks?

        And, how did ‘racialists’ ‘disadvantage’ Asians?

    2. Of course a Jew would say that!”
      That’s a fine argument, Queenie…

      1. Nice try Ed (it’s funny how easily and consistently anti-anti-racist invoke anti-semitism, isn’t it?), but I’m talking about the well known fact that DB has been on crusades before for reasons doing with his ethnicity (NTTAWWT), so this new focus in that light suggests it could be happening again.

        1. But your original post sure has a distinctly anti-Semitic stench to it.

          1. If you’re going to toss that out, can you back it up?

          2. Take a deep breath. Let others in the room use their nose for themselves.
            I have no need to “back up” anything about the comment.

            1. I don’t see anything antisemitic about QA’s comment given what I know about DB’s attitudes.

              I actually thought this was one of DB’s more insightful posts until I started reading the comments and realized it was just clickbait for scared white people.

    3. QA the paid troll is in it’s “mind reading” mode and attributes things to others they did not say or do.

      1. Poor buckie, back to one sentence yelling.

    4. Or maybe it’s not an “oppression olympics,” but an American (who as it happens is from a minority group) looking at our current racial landscape and not liking what he sees.

      It would be nice if *more* Jews, not fewer, took alarm at the racial categorizations and scapegoating going on in this country, without blaming it all on Trump and Fox News.

      1. “It would be nice if *more* Jews, not fewer, took alarm at the racial categorizations and scapegoating going on in this country, without blaming it all on Trump and Fox News.”

        Stop telling Jews what to do, anti-Semite!

        1. It’s advice. If you’re worried they’ll take the advice, don’t fret, it probably won’t happen.

          1. Cal, why are you giving anti-Semitic advice?

            1. Because yo mama?

              I’d give similar advice to Gentiles. Or should I say )))gentiles(((.

              1. But of course it’s racist to advise against racism if the racists are the correct Team.

            2. @QA: It must be b/c he’s a Nazi.
              And you think implying that is either accurate or funny.
              GFY.

    5. For the record, Prof. Bell explicitly mentioned that the student he influenced told him that she had previously thought of herself as just a Jewish girl, but now she thought of herself as white. He was quite proud of this. So if anyone was interested in the oppression olympics, it was him, perhaps he thought that people having any intermediary identity besides white and black was distracting from his cause. I thought this was appalling because the notion that making people *more* race-conscious was going to lead to good consequences in the long run struck me as somewhere between naive and crazy. Still does.

      1. Well, it’s naïve to imagine that the only choices are “naive” and “crazy” when you have hostile, selfish, and/or evil as more probable alternatives.

    6. In other words, DB was protecting his grift from competition.

    7. Professor Derrick Bell, a well-known Racist

    8. “I’d bet dollars to donuts a motivation of DB’s (like JB’s I’d bet too) is that this kind of thing threatens to in their perception threaten to disadvantage Jews in the ‘Oppression Olympics’ by ‘shifting’ them into the ‘white oppressor’ category.”

      Even if true, so what?

    9. Personally, I’m aware of my whiteness every time I miss a spot with sunscreen when spending the day at the beach. But I suspect that’s not what the late Professor meant.

  12. There is a significant, organized, well-armed “white nationalist” movement in this country, dating back to the desegregation era. I don’t think they are affected by what was going on in left wing academia 30 years later.

    1. If there’s a strong army of armed white nationalists, it’s interesting they sat out the “racial justice protests” last year.

      What a chance to have the racial warfare they supposedly want!

      Or maybe they decided the “mostly peaceful” protests were already doing so much harm to race relations their efforts would have been superfluous?

      1. “If there’s a strong army of armed white nationalists, it’s interesting they sat out the “racial justice protests” last year.”

        They’re pussies as much as they are racists.

        1. If they’re pussies, how come they were able to stage the most dangerous insurrection in the country’s history with the possible exception of 1861-1865?

          1. Because better Americans refraining from imposing harsher measures on them.

    2. That group is tiny, disorganized, and the groups are too busy fighting each other to do anything of consequence. If they were significant, why do we only have one or two crazies executing a lone terrorist attack a year? We have 300 million people! If 1% of people belonged to these groups, there would be thousands of incidents annually.

      The last thing we want is to push more people into these groups.

      1. Heck, if you follow the news, Proud Boys is apparently an FBI entrapment operation. The leadership turned out to be on the FBI payroll.

    3. “significant”

      What does that even mean?

    4. There is also Bigfoot out there. Remember all of those WLM rallies last year. Phew scary

      1. I heard that they also make annual trips to swim with Nessie.

  13. > ignores what seems to me to be the obvious dangers of encouraging a majority of the population to emphasize and internalize a racial identity

    Encouraging people to presuppose that things are about racial identity is hazardous regardless of whether those people are a majority or not. One of the more recent examples being that NYC restaurant dispute that turned into declaring vaccine mandates to be of racist intent.

    > I mean, what could go wrong?

    Heh, that’s a lot tamer than I was expecting a “what could go wrong” regarding ethnonationalism to be. But also more direct, with the current round of activism having results that are the opposite of what those promoting it would want.

  14. DB’s comment here is like EV’s the other day about BLM-if you dare raise consciousness about white privilege/police misconduct then don’t be surprised if white people/police react awfully, because it’s obviously inevitable they will react that way.

    With friends like these, white people/cops don’t need enemies!

    1. I think the problem here is that there’s a small minority of whites who are both conscious of themselves as “white” in a way most whites aren’t, AND consumed by racial self-guilt. And they assume the latter must be lurking in every white, and if you could just wake them to their whiteness, they’d drown in the guilt and take up the progressive cause.

      But the vast majority of whites have no racial self-guilt lurking in their hearts. On the contrary, they’re well aware that they’ve done nothing to feel guilty about. So, if you convinced them it made sense to think of themselves as “white”, and pursue ends appropriate to that status, they’re not going to embrace progressivism, they would embrace the welfare of their own race.

      1. “On the contrary, they’re well aware that they’ve done nothing to feel guilty about.”

        Oh, I’ve no doubt you feel this way!

        1. Since you are now claiming that he should feel guilt (by implication), would you be so kind as to clarify what action he, as an individual, took that created a victim thereby making him guilty?

          1. Yes, pray tell, what I’m I supposed to feel guilty about?

        2. In fact I would bet that most whites who grandparents or parents were immigrants in the 20th century have little if anything they feel guilty about and they sure don’t agree to having white privilege, especially if family members have served in America’s Armed Services or have face discrimination in their own right.

        3. Indeed, I feel no guilt whatsoever. It’s bizarre that you think I should. I don’t, as it happens, think highly of whites as a group. Or blacks, either. But if you keep screwing with me b/c I’m white I know where I’ll have to look for allies and who I’ll need to treat as enemies. And that’s too bad. But war is war.

    2. “if you dare raise consciousness about white privilege/police misconduct then don’t be surprised if white people/police react awfully…”

      Huh? Is having white racial consciousness good or not? Make up your mind.

    3. “DB’s comment here is like EV’s the other day about BLM-if you dare raise consciousness about white privilege/police misconduct then don’t be surprised if white people/police react awfully…”

      Also, you’re reading something into EV’s comment that wasn’t there.

      1. Also, you’re reading something into EV’s comment that wasn’t there.

        The only thing QA is good at is sounding stupid. So, par for the course.

  15. Either talk about racism or talk about police misconduct. Don’t conflate the two. No one wants any police officer to misbehave, regardless of race. By using the phrase “white privilege/police misconduct”, you imply that all white police are bad, which of course is not so.

    It’s an argumentative framing.

  16. Just for the record: if 27 more people tell me I am a racist, solely based on the color of my skin, I will in fact become a racist.
    (no mirror needed)

    1. If everything is racist, nothing is.

      Or put another way, it takes the sting out of the word.

  17. The left is as usual in pathetic pandering mode hoping that will shore up what is becoming a worsening problem for them. Namely that Black and Latino voters are increasingly rejecting the far left’s ideology. And it only took a senile old guy in the white house who was a craven fool for most of his Senate tenure.

    QA paid troll and Artie the bigot will have their cognitive dissonance here as usual, and engage in mind reading and other gas lighting but it won’t work on anyone immune to them.

    1. Look at all these sentences by buckie! He really scored some coke!

      1. Anybody want to count up the sentences by you on this page and compare that to the number of his? If he’s on coke, what are you on? Meth?

  18. If you put the adjective “white” in front of something what follows is generally racist. A good test is to switch the adjective to “black” and then see how it sounds.

    Consciousness though is fairly mild compared to a lot of what’s out there today

  19. For all of the folks who scream liberty in regards too teaching kids CRT would you scream liberty for those teaching Eugenics?

  20. Name a jurisdiction of any size that was successfully governed by a dark skinned person. Define success any way you wish. Limit yourself to the last 600 years.

    1. America, when Barack Obama was president. Success = the economy kept plodding along, and we did not have war, either external or civil.

      1. Well he’s mixed. And he was raised by white people. I’m more hood than he is.

  21. Ugh so many comments and they’re all just name-calling.

    Look. It’s very simple. The country has a long history of race problems, and it still does. The relatively recent civil-rights movement focused largely on “colorblindness,” understandable since the big issue at the time was segregation, and plus it was difficult for the right to really argue against given the strong emphasis on equality at America’s foundation.

    But now, multiple generations later, the limits of the colorblind approach have become apparent. Basically there are two.

    One is that the historical disparities get locked in. There are a lot of forms this takes, from simply the perpetuation of economic class across generations to discrimination becoming covert rather than overt to people adopting an attitude that as long as the law is race-neutral, it’s ok and even normal for each race to take as much as it can from the others.

    Second is the movement to say hey, I like my racial identity, and to the extent all this colorblindness results in losing that, I’d rather not.

    I think both of those are legitimate concerns. But now we have a role reversal where conservatives are insisting on colorblindness as the only possible solution to issues of race and calling everything else “racist.”

    But that’s a head-in-the-sand attitude. Do you think the perpetuation of racial disparities is a problem? If so, what’s your solution? If your solution is “just give it (colorblindness) time,” how much time? It’s been like 60, 70 years already.

    Do you think the loss of racial identity is a problem? If so, what’s your solution? If not, what do you say to a black person who’s concerned about their ability maintain a strong black identity and community as an upwardly-mobile American?

    These are super interesting questions that would be fun to engage with, if the national discourse weren’t so fully toxic.

    And the right is in total disarray, so it hasn’t usefully engaged with really any actual issues lately, least of all complex ones like these. That means the extreme left is feeling empowered and getting more and more extreme, such as with the ridiculous idea that white people should embrace “whiteness” even if race doesn’t figure strongly into their own sense of identity. But just calling everyone you disagree with a racist isn’t a dialogue… especially when ironically it’s what the other side is also saying.

    1. “If your solution is “just give it (colorblindness) time,” how much time? It’s been like 60, 70 years already.”

      No, actually it hasn’t been. We gave colorblindness maybe a couple of years, and then switched to racial preferences, and have been doubling down on examining things with a racial microscope ever since. Goals that were quotas, timetables you had to achieve to avoid being sued. When states started passing ballot initiatives banning governmental discrimination, they got taken to court by civil rights leaders claiming it was unconstitutional to refrain from racially discriminating! You’ve got colleges out there with segregated dorms and graduation ceremonies!

      “I like my racial identity, and to the extent all this colorblindness results in losing that, I’d rather not.”

      Here’s a mirror, take a look in it. There’s your problem, right there. The loss of racial identity isn’t a problem, it’s the solution. Racism will never go away until people view “race” the way they do hair color, or whether you have freckles. Racism goes away when people stop caring about race. Not when they obsess about it in the right way.

      1. Wow, you couldn’t have more perfectly proven my point.

        You have a knack for it Brett, like in the thread where you agreed, in fact gloated, that the reason people aren’t getting vaccinated is just that they’re butt-hurt about being told what to do. And now we hear how you’re totally uninterested in solving the race problems facing the country (surprise). You’ve got a superficial and predictable set of beliefs, the sort of Early Reader version of Trumpism.

        1. What Brett said has nothing at all to do with trumpisim.

          It has to do with the ‘ideal’ world being one where everyone is on-their-own, and they are individually responsible for their life rather than living as a member of an identity-group ‘community’.

          When I was a kid, it took until about 3rd grade before an adult explained the existence of race to me. And this wasn’t because I lived in a racially homogenous environment… It’s because race is not a natural concept.

          The way you solve racial problems, is you get rid of race as a concept. As long as the concept exists, one or more of the ‘races’ will utilize it to justify discrimination against members of one or more of the others…

          Whether that is 1950s-Jim-Crow, or modern day ‘anti-racisim’ (Which is – at least in the form Kendi advocates for – racist itself).

    2. The flaw in your viewpoint is that you see everything in terms of *groups* and collective-goods.

      Whereas conservatives – at least the kind we had before Trump – talk in terms of *individuals*.

      Group identities – beyond ‘US Citizen’ are inherently destructive… Especially group identities that are created for the purpose of setting one or more groups against each other (of which ‘race’ is the most prominent example).

      This was true among ‘white’ communities that clung to their former national identities in the pre-civil-rights era. It is just as true for race now.

      Movements that seek to emphasize and ’empower’ group-identity or separate ‘communities’ based on identity-group-membership only make the problems of group-identity-discrimination worse.

      Which is why colorblindness & assimilation are the only way that actually work.

      As for the timeline? You can blame continued attempts to maintain racial division (from all sides) for preventing color-blindness from working…

      As long as we still have people considering themselves ‘a member of the (insert ‘race’ here) communuity’, we don’t have colorblindness. So you can’t claim it’s not working when it has not been fully achieved.

  22. Well there is no “white racial conscious” or anything organized around whiteness. But there is a heck of a lot or organized, systemic, attention paid to blackness.

  23. Imagine that – someone who’s entire worldview is structured around race believes that everyone else’s should be to…

    How about ‘no’…. The less emphasis we place on ‘race’, the better….

    After all, it’s not a natural concept – kids don’t know it exists until you teach them that it does…

    We should be figuring out how to get rid of it as a concept (specifically: how to get rid of the idea that having a different skin color makes you a different ‘kind’ of person), not reinforce it.

  24. The Post today has an article about the millions of people now identifying as “multi-racial”. I wonder, will that identification by diffusing their unitary racial identification make them more tolerant of others?

Please to post comments