The media has been awash with talk about race since the arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates at his home in Cambridge Mass., last week and with President Obama's summary judgment of the whole affair as "stupid". To his credit the president has retracted his words as ill-chosen and wrong. But as I've said in a few earlier posts, race talk will not go away during the Obama administration. Why? For three good reasons:
1. The racial narrative of "African-Americans as victims" plays into white guilt
over issues of slavery and Jim Crow. Many Whites want to redress and fix these
historic grievances in the here and now and be absolved of guilt. And so long as
there are racial imbalances in life - perceived or real - they are judged to be caused by White privilege and advantage, thus Whites have something to continually "fix" or "repair" in the race "problem".
2. The racial narrative provides a powerful and convenient excuse for African-
American underachievement in many arenas - educational, economic, social, and cultural. Many Black conservatives, like John Mcwhorter and most notably the economist Thomas Sowell, have pointed out the failure of anti-achievement thinking where the racial narrative fuels a type of cultural defeatism. Why work hard to achieve and overcome if "the system" is perceived to be solidly rigged against you? Sadly, far too many African-Americans continue to think and act as if this is true.
3. Black liberals and intellectuals have vast economic interests to protect in the
racial spoils industry. Anti-discrimination is now big business.
This is not to say racism does not exist in the United States of America. It does exist - but nowhere near the extent to which it has existed in this country historically. But well beyond the extent it does exist, no matter how small it exists, there are entrenched social and political interests driving the amplification of race, racial grievance, racial profiling, and racial discrimination. With Blacks starring as perpetual victims, coupled with an industry geared to profit from racial thinking and racial bias, as the old Carpenter's song put it..."we've only just begun...."
One Day in the not too distant future, the nations of the world will be at peace under the banner and guard of the Prince of Peace. Only then we will see "race" for what it is and was - an artifice of difference designed to poison and undermine godly brotherhood.
Oh, by the way...the arresting officer, an Irish white guy named Sgt. Crowley, and the arrested professor, Henry Gates, an African American with an Irish heritage - are related!
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.