Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Getting Past Deceptive Whiteness
Some people seemed surprised to discover that five black cops abusing a black victim in Memphis was symptomatic of white supremacy. But we already knew that the race of alleged perpetrators is irrelevant from the lessons derived from the circumstances surrounding the death of Freddy Gray in Baltimore in 2015.
After an arrest involving six officers (three white, three black), Gray was handcuffed and placed in a van but not seat-belted. The black officer driving the van allegedly gave him an intentional “rough ride” such that he fell off the bench and, in a freak accident, broke his neck and soon died.
That cop was prosecuted by a black DA but found innocent by a majority-black jury, presumably because of white supremacy. Those six cops were all answerable to a black police chief who was answerable to a black mayor and a majority-black city council. Any federal civil rights issues were under the purview of a black US Attorney General appointed by a black President of the United States.
So why did Freddie Gray die? White racism. Obviously.
If one is properly trained in such matters, one knows that systemic racism permeates the entire culture such that oppression is not necessarily conscious or intentional. Only a complete recast of American culture and the complete ideological reformation of white people (or their elimination) can begin to undo the ongoing injury.
Until that happy eventuality, we can never underestimate the malevolent subtlety of whiteness and the difficulty in identifying its manifestations. While we are repeatedly drawn into discussions about specific instances of black victimhood (Freddy Gray, George Floyd, or Jussie Smollett), are those just distractions from more glaring evidence of malevolent whiteness?
Is approval or praise for black success a trap, itself a tacit endorsement of whiteness? Could the illusion of self-made black success be the ultimate deception of white supremacy? Robin DiAngelo presented a similar notion in White Fragility when she pointed out that major league baseball let Jackie Robinson play in the big leagues just so they could claim they were not racist. The proof of that deceptive intent, she argued, is that Jackie Robinson was not that good a player, so it must have been contrived.
What if every African-American surgeon, investor, lawyer, entrepreneur, every successful black American was simply placed in those circumstances by whiteness because it served the purposes of white supremacy for them to be there and to have appeared to succeed in the (white?) manner in which they allegedly did?
Before you scoff and tell me that is insane conspiracy thinking, let me suggest that you probably do not understand the sheer breadth and depth of whiteness. The illusion of black agency, the idea that there is some act of will or knowledge acquisition or habits of behavior that would permit an African-American to determine career or life outcomes not rigged or circumscribed by whiteness is clearly nonsense and coloring your perception.
When one is what they call “woke,” it becomes easy, for example, to ascribe the acts of a black armed robber to the pernicious influence of white supremacy. It is then simple to take responsibility for all such criminal acts (as should all other white people) for what white racists dismiss as “black on black” crime when we know that whiteness was, in fact, the author of all of that tragedy.
But if you are really, really enlightened, you would move completely past the illusion of black agency and realize that whiteness, like The Matrix, defines the life and circumstances of black people even if it appears they are acting, performing, and achieving like white people (or white-adjacent people, like Asians).
When you realize that a black millionaire CEO or entertainment mogul or brain surgeon is just as much a creation of whiteness as a poor black man imprisoned for multiple murders, and you can even feel guilty for such success, then you truly understand the issue and the scope of the problem.Published in General
How much of this before we decide it was a bad idea to attempt to live together?
I hope we will never reach such a poor conclusion, Stina.
A relatively small number of ignorant race-obsessed hotheads keep the pot stirred. A larger but still relatively small number of race-obsessed do-gooders with a patronizing attitude toward minorities push public policy that undermines personal responsibility in minority communities. Yet another relatively small number of race-obsessed academics (and similar dummies) decry the time-tested and noble concept of the American “melting pot,” and call for perpetual self-segregation.
Americans can get along just fine if the woke activists will stop kicking sand in the gears.
We would already be an integrated, largely race-indifferent nation if there had been no white liberals for the last 50 years. No urban social engineering disasters, no assault on the family, no breakdown in education, no absurd race consciousness, no propping up of grifters like Sharpton or absurd CRT writers…
I think it’s cute that you think that the complete elimination of white people would stop grifters from blaming white supremacy for their problems, considering how often they blame events that happened centuries ago for their problems.
You’d also have a serious Left, rather than the nonsensical ineffective fraudulent ones you do now.
It is demonstrably NOT a poor conclusion.
In the word of the Ephors of Sparta, “If.”
Please tell me how we could have avoided the last 50 years?
What I see is that a very significant weak point was leveraged against the American populace. And it is hurting both whites and blacks. It would be better off for both if that had never been a point of contention, but as it is, they are stoking natural racial divisions into a war for control over resources, dictated by race.
Surely there are other issues to disagree and be in conflict about :-)
It is actually much worse now than it was 15 years ago. Barack Obama did more damage to race relations than anyone in the US since the late 60s. The US actually is one of the least racists countries with a diverse ethnic population. Look at rates of intermarriage. This wasn’t a major problem before Obama and the democrats decided they needed to leverage it for political gain.
The actual issue is that it is no longer confined to just race baiters. If a murder was acquitted because an all black jury thought white supremacy was to blame, then it is systemic now.
But tell me, please – what defense did we have against race baiters before it got to this point? Something is wrong with the system if there is no immune response to pathogens like that.
I agree it is no longer confined to race baiters. I am simply saying that this was an improving problem for 35 years and then Obama made it a virulent problem and erased 35 years of gains.
What we had before it got to this point was 3 basic things. First people generally had faith in the legal system and our institutions. Second we had responsible adults in positions of authority who knew that race was a live wire and who worked to tamp down on racial narratives. People like the current CRT crowd and Sharpton, etc were around but marginalized. Finally we had the truth, which people generally understood.
As far as not living together. That is going to be pretty difficult for my family at least it is going to make family gatherings awkward. I suspect I am not alone in that. We had this more or less figured out before the left cynically decide there was political hay to be made by picking at the scab.
Kinda ironic that the first (half-)black president claims that the country is more racist than ever.
Of coarse Obama stoked it . However, those ill feelings in the black community were there to be stoked . They were just under the surface. Didn’t take much .
Half black, thought of himself as all black. I saw him as a halfwit.
Few things are more disgusting to me than “ethnic” people who choose to “identify with” the half of their identity that abandoned them.
This is like saying that white supremacism or just plain racial bigotry still existed — and that’s as much found in the black community as well. Yes, I’m fairly sure that it always has and likely always will to some extent.
But the race wounds were actually healing — and mostly healed — in the years prior to 2008. Fanning a live ember can create a big fire, and that’s what 0bama and the leftists did.
Now we are paying the Kangz-Geld.
I believe in a tragic view of man and an unchanging view of human nature. That is to say it never takes much, which is why wise people from both parties didn’t want to touch that live wire and worked to tamp it down.
Much of this depends on region or city .
St. Louis , KC , Detroit, Chicago , Baltimore , etc , etc etc ……… . This inner city racism creeps into the metropolitan area’s of these cities . There’s a reason why Ferguson was chosen by the race baiters to inflame over an obvious justified shooting . Race relations in St. Louis can always be blown into a flame .
I heard somebody asking where Sherman is now that Atlanta needs him.
He always saw/sees himself as the smartest person in the room; which means he wasn’t.
About the Obama years: Of course he did everything in his power to worsen race relations and the DNC threw jet fuel on every race relations house fire it could find when he was in office and ever since. But…anyone here remember Howard Beach? Tawana Brawley? The “Water Buffalo” incident? The Left had been poisoning the dicourse for years before Obama got there, only there were enough honest black and white Americans who had been getting along to not fall for it on a more than region scale. The racebaiters among the Dems nationalized it in the years I estimate between 92 and 2008.
Jackie Robinson was a good ballplayer, just not a great one; they chose him to break the color barrier because he was judged the most emotionally and psychologically fit of all qualifying prospects to endure the backlash without jeopardizing the effort by lashing out in justified anger and frustration. Its no surprise that Robin DiAngelo chooses to minimize and twist his accomplishments (in more ways than one).
Yes, there was a money-making race-baiting component to race, but generally race relations had gotten much, much better by the end of the nineties, and I saw no end in sight to continued improvement. And I’ll say that there is a legitimate grievance by the black underclass at least insofar as the public school system and what appears to be keeping the underclass under and even making living circumstances worse with perpetuating the Great Society. They had nothing, but they weren’t happy.
At the risk of threadjacking, allow me to ask: When did the Left start tying to pass illegitimacy and family breakdown as “the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow”? I´m thinking, late 80s.
Agreed. And the great tragedy of Barack Obama is that he had the opportunity to overcome all of that and bring America into a genuinely post-racial era, but he threw it away because he saw electoral advantage in race-based demagoguery, which proved a temptation he could not resist.