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The constant attacks on American citizens who are white are absurd and insulting. The commentary insisting that all whites must be racist is bizarre and on a closer look, based on no facts at all. I’ve decided that I’ve had enough of these intended insults. (I can only be insulted if I accept the observations.) I’m pushing back. I realize that some black Americans and people on the Left would be outraged at my ideas, and if they had the opportunity would vehemently chastise me.
I don’t care.
I only care about living a life of integrity, about being a good person to my fellow man (no matter what the person’s color is), and to make good choices. No person has the right to force me to think or behave in a particular way—a person can certainly try, but I will ignore their intimidation tactics and efforts to humiliate me.
Let me explain why the efforts to coerce me into thinking or acting in a particular way is not only a waste of time, but it defies everything this country stands for. My arguments appear below:
- My strongest argument is that you have no scientific data that says a person is born or will become inherently racist. Just because a person is a scientist or creates facts to support his or her position does not make this statement true. We are, of course, influenced by our culture and its norms; our families, teachers, and all relationships have an impact on our worldviews. But I have something called agency: nothing can force me to be racist. Anyone who purports to present data otherwise is providing opinion, not fact.
- You are totally incapable of knowing my mind, how I feel, or how I think. My mind is not open to your analysis, and at any given time you are not able to know my thoughts, unless I choose to share them with you. So, your stating whether or not I have racist thoughts or how I created them is impossible; therefore, stating that my racism is unconscious is illogical.
- Your assessment that we live in a racist society cannot be ascertained. At what point is any society racist? How many members of society need to be racist to justify labeling the entire society racist? Is a society racist if 1%, 5%, or 10% of its members are racist? Must every single person be purged of his or her racist ideas for a society to be free of racism? What tools or criteria will you use to measure the degree of racism in society? What makes your tools or criteria legitimate?
- You say that if I don’t speak out or act to support your claims about racism, I am complicit. If your claims are not legitimate, what am I complicit in? Who are you to decide how I should live my life? Who are you to demand that I act for a cause that I don’t think is legitimate? Even if there are racists in this country (and I’m sure there are), why do I have to take action against them? What makes your cause stand out against all the rest of the needs of society?
- I will reject any demands to tell me how to think about anything, including racism. You have no authority to tell me how to think. If I’m racist, you have no right to tell me to reject those ideas. You are free to say that if I have racist thoughts, I will act on them. The fact is, I may or may not act on them. I may simply keep them to myself. That is my right–I’m not racist, by the way—but of course, you will likely not believe me, and that is also your right. I accept that you have this choice.
- When I explain the reasons that I am not a racist, I am not defending myself, although you may claim that I am. I don’t need to defend myself; I’m simply sharing my opinions, my point of view. But if you choose to see those as defensive statements, fine.
- When I give an opinion on racism or current events, it is just that: an opinion. I am not required to be deeply informed on the history of racism or its current iteration. I will also decide the subjects on which I want to be educated; you have no say in that decision. So if you believe that I am not sufficiently educated on racism, that’s unfortunate.
- I refuse to live my life in the framework of racial stereotypes: white, black, Asian, Hispanic, or otherwise. Yes, some of the descriptions of races may or may not be true. But I will be the one to decide, person-by-person, which descriptions are legitimate. And those choices do not require your approval.
- This country guarantees me freedom of expression. Your efforts to silence me defy the Constitution and I will disregard them.
- I regret that some of you believe that your violence and disruption for your cause are legitimate acts. That the destruction of businesses and homes of citizens is acceptable. I reject your opinion.
The conclusions you draw about me based on the points listed above are your opinions. They have no more legitimacy than my own opinions. You are entitled to them, as I am to mine. You have no power to force me to do anything: change my mind, take a stand, support your causes, confess my beliefs, or legitimize your positions. Your intention to improve equality and justice in this country is admirable; your strategies are abominable. As long as I live in this free society, I will make my own choices, my own decisions, voice my own heartfelt opinions and share my ideas. You have no authority to dictate any of those.
I am not your slave.Published in