face it, a large swath of Americans is indifferent at best about racism.
Category: Op/EdBy: john-russell • 3 weeks ago • 126 comments
I have a nephew who otherwise loves sports who has not watched an NBA or college basketball game in 10 or 15 years. There are two reasons for this, one, basketball in the 21st century is largely a sport dominated by young black men, and, said young black men sometimes speak out on social justice issues. LeBron James has become pretty well known for speaking out. Like so many other white Americans, my nephew does not want to be lectured to by black people. As a way of "punishing" them, he withholds his interest in what they do in sports.
A lot of liberal do gooders have assumed that the nation reached a turning point with the George Floyd murder last May and the subsequent mass protests which often included many young (and not so young) white people. The assumption was that white people were suddenly "getting it". While that may be somewhat the case, that "getting it" may in fact be slight.
There was a story in the media yesterday , which was seeded here, in which the writer posed the idea that the Democrats are being hurt politically when they propose legislation or executive orders meant to redress racism. The point of the article being that "liberals" and other Democrats have made the assumption that white America acknowledges racial disparity and is ready to take action to diminish or end racism, thus the belief that legislation or other anti-racist measures will meet with approval from the majority of Americans , including some conservatives.
I think there are signs that the belief that the country is ready to meet racism head on is an overblown and unsupported belief. We have people in this country who are far more interested in calling Black Lives Matter communists and socialists and rioters that they are interested in having black lives matter. We have white people who routinely diminish complaints about racism from people of color such as blacks, American Indians , hispanics and Asians. Many white people want to proclaim that we already have a color blind society so any additional effort to reduce racism is offensive overkill. We have white people who say that people of color, particularly blacks, are the real racists. Why would that be? , because they complain about white racism.
Ending racism is surely a long term project, a generational thing that has already consumed many generations, but it is what it is. Ending racism will take as long as it takes. There is no date to say "now it is over".
I saw somebody say "why can't I fly a white pride flag"? Why would you need to?
No one needs to promote "whiteness" , it is absurd. White people have been the model for and the basis of power in this country for 400 years, and there has never been a time in the past 400 years when whites were not "in power". Many whites fear that the day is coming when they will not be the "default" idea of an American. They don't want to see the day when America changes from being a "white" nation, not even for their children. Hence we see things like Republican and conservative politician Rick Santorum say, in the past few days, that when whites came to America there was "nothing here" and our civilization was built on freedom sought by the Europeans who came here. To Santorum and his vast ilk the people who were already here are little more than an afterthought who had to be sacrificed to make the white Christian nation we have had all these years.
A couple nights ago Hollywood do-gooders held the 2021 Academy Awards, and at those awards there were numerous short speeches about racial inequality in America today. Not surprisingly, the television show of the Oscars got the worst ratings in it's history. It is not hard, at all, to connect these plummeting ratings with an overall refusal of many white Americans to accept that NOW is the time to put racism behind us. Instead of a breakthrough being made in 2020, it may have only made the two sides dig in harder.