Now, it's a known fact that racism comes in two forms: that practiced by whites— heinous and inexcusable, whatever its motives— and that practiced by blacks— quite justified, whatever its excesses, since it's merely the expression of a righteous revenge, and it's up to the whites to be patient and understanding.
Raspail, Jean (2014-12-03). The Camp of the Saints (1973) (Kindle Locations 3661-3663). Trine Day. Kindle Edition.
Over forty years ago this apothegm appeared in a prophetic novel, The Camp of the Saints, a masterpiece of acid mockery, mesmerizing in its devastating satirical scorn for the ubiquitous Leftist grandstanders with all of their preening, self-righteous rhetoric of “caring” about the oppressed, their relentless, fatuous grievance mongering, and delusion-fed hypocrisy and shameless duplicity.
Raspail’s noted double standard endures, thrives even, and gathers an increasing stench of invincible dishonesty. Racism some forty years post-Camp has mutated into the most useful, versatile, resilient “ism” ever invented, the gift for the Left that never stops giving.
Only whites can practice racism in its virulent, malignant form because, as the Left insists, whites are “privileged”, neo-Marxist-speak for the domination and exploitation of one advantaged class or group (white) over another (black). Those in oppressed group, as Raspail notes above, get to be as vicious as they care to be because they have longstanding legitimate grievances to pursue and scores to settle. Racism for the Left is really about power, and like every malady that plagues society, in Marxist social mechanics it is eliminated when the righteous oppressed overthrow the benighted oppressors (in Marxist lingo: “the expropriators are expropriated”). For the Left the notion of racial progress in America is an illusion. The breaking down of the barriers of segregation, the victories of civil rights movement mean nothing. As President Obama says, discrimination is in our DNA. It is long past time for whites relocate at back of the bus and be content as janitors.
In a simpler era before the Left had hammered the notion that “white folks” are all (collectively) and uniquely racist into one of their sacred dogmas, sorting out those who were racists from those who were not was a relatively straightforward matter. Racists then self-identified, some, quite proudly and defiantly. Others, perhaps neither so confident nor bold would admit privately, maybe even grudgingly and more tentatively the views of the openly bigoted.
Then, not every white person of European origin was a racist. Some, many whites, as even now, were actually appalled by the racists they observed. How else, one might ask, over the years, without some renegades from this majority oppressor race did America end slavery, dismantle Jim Crow and twice elect a black man as President with a plurality of white votes? And, how else is it that now merely the threat of being labeled a racist makes most whites crumple up, scramble to apologize to anyone and everyone, and promise to do whatever it takes to show how free they are of racial prejudice.
Times indeed have changed. No white person other than the flotsam on the far fringe wants to be labeled a racist. No sin is less forgivable. You can prey on young interns, be a serial philander and a phony philanthropist (Bill Clinton), abandon your girlfriend to drowned in the back seat of your car (Ted Kennedy), try to blow up the Pentagon and a lot of people in it (Bill Ayres), slander, foment riots, consort with gangsters, skip your taxes (Al Sharpton) – all in the end is forgiven and forgotten as long as you are reliably, as they say now, “progressive”. But for those whose bonafides do not list leftward enough, when the professional overseers of racial rectitude sniff out in a word, gesture, or symbol, that has the faintest whiff of “racism”, exile and banishment follow. Remember Jimmy the Greek? Even the slightest suspicion that one of the “privileged” whites in any position of influence and authority does not spend every spare moment ruminating on how awful it is to be black in America can kill a career. Just recently the President of the University of Missouri capitulated (groveling and apologizing, Mao-era Cultural Revolution style) to the demands of clique of black students led by the son of a multimillionaire and resigned. His offense? He was insufficiently tormented by the horrors endured by black students at the Missouri campus – which were? Well, that is where you have to use your imagination.
Racism is now an obsession of the Left and it is ubiquitous, manifesting itself in such subtle and nuanced forms that detection requires highly trained specialists in the hermeneutics of racial sensitivity. Racism, that is, white racism, never abates. It is a wonderful abstraction that easily mutates. It has taken on so many different forms that even the specialists can barely keep up with the inventory: institutional racism, systemic racism, economic racism, environmental racism, overt racism, covert racism, casual racism, legacy racism, etc. The deep thinkers employed by the New York Times can be counted upon, as they usually do, to bring enlightenment to this unfortunate preoccupation and generalize about people about whom they know little and loath greatly: thus, the inimitable Nicholas Kristof and his recent column “Is Everyone a Little Bit Racist?” Perhaps Kristof should change his name to Rip Van Winkle.
Racism is now detected in the form of “micro-aggressions”, the irony somehow escaping the “diversity” and “multicultural” specialists who occupy Vice President and similar lofty positions at universities and companies. We now have an entire industry made up of “professionals” whose job is to detect in the speech and behavior of their fellow employees these micro-aggressions that signal the racist attitudes. They reign in a kind of dictatorship over communication legitimized somehow by the demand for “sensitivity” which seems to be unbounded and insatiable and now trumps once highly regarded values and freedoms such free speech, intellectual humility and civility.
It is safe to wager that no Multi-cultural or Diversity Vice President anywhere will ever be on record saying that under her tenure racism and bigotry have diminished and race relations have improved. Aren't they hired to make things better? So why do we need them? Again, one marvels at the irony and it is astonishing to note how no one seems to comment on the perversity of the entire enterprise that composes the “Diversity industry”, a euphemism for an extortion machine. These positions are created and filled by people who have every incentive to make things worse. If the whites (privileged simply by virtue of being white) who inhabit these organizations were not the closet bigots they supposedly cannot help being, why would we need these professional scolds, intolerant and censorious to the core, to lecture us incessantly on inclusion and tolerance? So imagine the relief they typically feel when some incident (a racial slur, real or imagined) occurs assuring them that we are permanently locked in a time where all the lunch counters and public restrooms are “Whites Only” and “We Shall Overcome” is the only choice in the hymnbook. Everyday is “Groundhog Day” – Bull Connor is Sheriff and all Republicans are Lester Maddox. Wait! I believe he was a Democrat.
Racism in today’s multi-racial America has little to do with race and everything to do with power. Racism is the “unity of evil under which all opponents are gathered.” (Petr Fidelius, ‘Totalitarian Language’, The Salisbury Review 2 (2) (Winter 1984); Scruton, Roger (2015-10-08). Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left (Kindle Locations 4267-4268). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.) Racism is this “unity of evil” they see in their “enemies”, as President Obama calls his political opposition. It is an integral part of the political modus operandi of Left used to demonize the opposition. Racism is also an exemption for rioting, looting, murdering policemen and almost any loutish behavior you can imagine because the white power structure has made conditions intolerable.
Black Lives Matter, Black Power, Black is Beautiful – whatever form the au currant racial chest thumping chant from the grievance industry takes – it is nothing but agitprop aimed at racial intimidation. The Left, constantly crying racism against their opponents, supports black chauvinism no matter how crude or stupid its manifestations. If they were seriously opposed to what racism really is – targeting a racial group and disparaging it – they would they would condemn the grievance mongering and racial animosity of the likes of Al Sharpton and Barack Obama and attempt a real, as they say “honest conversation about race.”